Wednesday, May 31, 2006

ESPN column: Nolan deserved better

Posted on Wed, May 31, 2006 at 1:23 PM

Alan Grant, a free-lance sports columnist for ESPN and a former NFL defensive back, offers this contrarian opinion on Nolan Richardson after the appeals court denied Richardson in his suit against the UA last week. Grant, in pointing out Richardson's record at the UA and how he had established his own credibility through the years, says:

I suppose I could gain confidence, at least in some media circles, by casting aspersions on Nolan Richardson. I could say that he deserved to be terminated for speaking his mind in such a racially charged way. I could say that he was just fortunate to get the opportunity to coach at a Division I university. I could say that he's forever indebted to [Frank] Broyles and Arkansas for what they did for him. But I can't bring myself to say any of that because it's not the way I feel.

I think Richardson deserved better. I think Arkansas was lucky to have him. I think the all-time winningest coach in Arkansas history was fired because he is black and outspoken. I think Broyles has taken great strides to show that the Arkansas athletic department has all the trappings of an old boys network. Since going 9-4 in 2003, [Houston] Nutt's teams have finished 5-6 and 4-7. Yet it's apparently all good in Fayetteville. I thought college football was all about winning. And if you don't win, you get fired.

Like I was saying, a black coach tells us something about credibility.

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