September 2006 Volume 28 Number 4
Basketball coach Nolan
Richardson wasn’t fired by University of Arkansas on account of his race,
appeals court affirms
Former University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson wasn’t fired on account of his race, a federal Court of Appeals has affirmed. Richardson was the first African-American ever to serve as a Razorback head coach. And when he was fired, abruptly, in 2002, he alleged that he had been fired because he was Black, and because of remarks he had made about how difficult it was to recruit Black high school athletes to play at the University of Arkansas.
an 18-day bench trial, Richardson lost. Federal District Judge Roy Wilson ruled
that Richardson had not proved that he had been fired on account of his race or
his race-related comments (ELR
26:7:10). On appeal, Richardson did no better.
Court of Appeals’ own review of the evidence led it to the same conclusion
reached by Judge Wilson – that “Richardson was not fired because of his
race,” and that his “statement [about recruiting Blacks] was not a factor in
his firing.” As a result, the appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of
U.S.App.LEXIS 13131 (8th Cir. 2006