SHARECOMMENTMORE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says he hopes to have a permanent football coach hired by early December.

Long spoke to fans Monday at the Touchdown Club in Little Rock. He says he would like to have the new coach hired within two weeks of the end of the season, which wraps up Nov. 23.

He says it will be apparent then whether interim coach John L. Smith deserves the job. He acknowledged the team got off on the wrong foot this season but says the Razorbacks (3-4) have adjusted to Smith and multiple changes among assistant coaches.

Long says Smith's $40 million personal bankruptcy hasn't distracted the team.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)