Arkansas focused on immediate future with Smith

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long had to balance the short-term and long-term interests of the football program when he hired John L. Smith to replace Bobby Petrino.

Long believes he found the best possible solution to the Razorbacks' problems. Smith returned to Arkansas just five months after leaving to become the head coach at his alma mater, Weber State, for $130,000 per year.

Smith signed a 10-month, $875,000 contract with the Razorbacks, enabling Long to continue his search for a long-term coach.

It also helped ease the transition, by keeping the current coaching staff in place, for an Arkansas team that expects to compete for a Southeastern Conference and national championship next season.