John L. Smith is a football coach. He’s not a businessman.
And that’s exactly what the Arkansas head football coach is saying right now as he makes plans to declare bankruptcy. Smith, who used to coach at the University of Louisville, made some bad real estate moves back in Kentucky and now he is paying the price.
“From a personal standpoint, I don’t want the university being embarrassed. But I’m not embarrassed,” Smith said. “It’s something that’s happened. I made some mistakes, and to be honest with you, I’m a football coach, not a businessman.”
Smith’s land investments in Kentucky began with one subdivision development and evolved from there. As the real estate market went south, Smith and his partners struggled to stay on top. He describes his stake in the ”multi-millions.”
“It was a situation where we all made a little and said, ‘Well, that’s good. Let’s see if we can make a little more,’” he said. “At that point, the bank was willing to give away money. We got in over our head with land, and then the bubble burst and all this land value dropped and we couldn’t sustain it.”
It says a lot about the guy that he can man up and acknowledge mistakes he made in his past and face the consequences publicly. It looks like Arkansas got the complete opposite of its last head football coach.
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