Randy Hollis: One can hardly blame John L. Smith, but it is still wrong

Published: Tuesday, April 24 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

It might've seemed a little less disingenuous if it had been the other way around and the school came after Smith. Instead, it appears that while he was closing the door on his first set of WSU spring football drills, he was trying to get his foot back in the door at Arkansas. Either way, though, he's gone, leaving Weber State in the lurch, as the Wildcats must scramble to find their own "interim" coach within their own staff. Or perhaps they call on a former 'Cat head coach like Ron McBride or Jerry Graybeal to temporarily steer the ship for the 2012 season while they search for a permanent replacement.

Rumors regarding Smith's possible interest in the Arkansas job, or their interest in him, surfaced shortly after Petrino was fired in early April.

But when in-the-know Weber State officials were asked last week whether John L. might be tempted to leave Ogden for Fayetteville, Ark., their response was an emphatic "Oh, no, he wouldn't do that to Weber State."

Um, yeah, as it turns out, he sure would. To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from the film "Animal House" — face it, Wildcats, you screwed up, you trusted him. Remember back in the 1990s, while coaching at Utah State, when Smith was criticized for his players' below-the-belt tactics in a game against the University of Utah? Some key Ute players claimed that the Aggies were repeatedly poking and pulling them in the nether regions during that game.

Well, with Monday's sudden departure from Weber State, it seems Smith essentially kicked the Wildcats' program in the same place.

Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com wrote a great column about how Smith wrongly abandoned Weber State, the coaches he had hired and the players he had helped coach and recruit, asking if perhaps the L. in the coach's name stood for "L-i-a-r."

One thing seems certain. When it comes to the way he dumped on "his home and his school," it would appear that the L. in his name definitely does not stand for "Loyalty."

Read more: John L. Smith's move to Arkansas draws mixed national reaction

email: rhollis@desnews.com

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere