EAGER TO MOVE ON from the Bobby Petrino scandal, Arkansas announced Monday that popular former assistant John L. Smith will return as interim head coach of the Razorbacks next season.
Smith, who left the Razorbacks after last season to become the head coach at Weber State, will be formally introduced on Tuesday. The school said Smith signed a 10-month, $850,000 contract and will also be eligible for other incentives.
Hiring Smith allows Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long to take his time to find a permanent head coach.
Smith was a head coach at Michigan State and Louisville. The 63-year-old leaves Weber State without ever coaching a game for the FCS school, his alma mater.
Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee said the "timing of this announcement is problematic" but the school would move forward. Bovee did not immediately name an interim coach.
In other college news:
* Bond was set at $5,000 for former Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, an NFL draft prospect who is accused of punching a police officer Saturday during a disturbance outside a Lincoln bar. Dennard is charged with third-degree felony assault of a police officer.
* Virginia Tech fired basketball coach Seth Greenberg, who went 170-123 in nine seasons, including 16-17 last season, 4-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Pro Football *
Two New Jersey state trooper were suspended wihtout pay after being accused of escorting a caravan of high-performance cars that reportedly included 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs on a 100-mph trip down the Garden State Parkway March 30. Witnesses told the state Turnpike Authority two state police cars were escorting the speeding cars. State police and the attorney general are investigating. An agent for Jacobs, a former Giants star, says his client drove to Atlantic City that day, but won't say whether Jacobs was part of the caravan.
* The NFL expanded rosters for the offseason and preseason from 80 players to 90.
* Chicago signed former San Francisco guard Chilo Rachal to a 1-year contract.
* Washington signed former St. Louis linebacker Bryan Kehl.
Sport Stops *
LeRoy Walker, the first African-American to lead the U.S. Olympic Committee (1992-96) and the first black man to coach an American Olympic team (track, 1976), died at 93 in Durham, N.C. He coached Olympic teams from Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad & Tobago before the U.S. team.