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Arkansas AD Jeff Long Standing by John L. Smith

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says he is "steadfastly" committed to coach John L. Smith for this season, despite the program's difficult start.

Long, speaking to a group of reporters following an appearance at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club, said Wednesday he is also committed to the rest of the Arkansas coaching staff, which remained intact after former coach Bobby Petrino's firing in April.

The Razorbacks (1-3) lost their third straight game last week, a 35-26 setback to No. 23 Rutgers. They were 21-5 the last two seasons under Petrino, who was fired for hiring his mistress to a position in the athletic department and initially lying about her presence during an April 1 motorcycle accident.

Long says he expects to hire a long-term coach after the end of the season.


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