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January 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 11th, 2003

by Brian Strong

So, there’s more to dish about Nolan Richardson III. After bringing a gun to the gym to threaten an assistant earlier this week, it has also been found that there was an inaccuracy in his resume. Those are the facts, here’s the opinion…

For most of my life, I looked up to this man’s father, the former coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He scored a lot of points with me as a strong minority role model – one of the few black coaches who had cracked the system and beyond that, taken his team to a national title. But in the past year, both of these Richardsons have been a great disappointment.

It started with the father. He was relieved of his duties at Arkansas after basically daring the authorities to fire him. I do not blame Nolan Richardson for being angry at what he felt were discriminatory attitudes coming from the press and others in the Arkansas basketball community. But what I do disagree with is the way he handled himself in the situation. Making a point is one thing, but I would prefer that he did that with some amount of dignity. The way I was brought up, you never let ’em see you sweat. Resign gracefully if you want and state your position, but don’t make it look like you have a massive chip on your shoulder. He acted immaturely at a press conference, let his mouth write checks that (you know the rest), and then compounded that outburst by suing the university.

So, as the saying goes: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In this past week, Nolan Richardson III (the son) has done his damndest to fully tarnish this once respected name. Yes, the inaccuracy in Richardson’s resume was corrected back in the fall, but that was after he was caught red-handed. For the record, his resume said that he graduated about eight years before he really did. Not quite as bad as pulling a gun on your assistant but looks worse when you consider that both things are attached to the rap sheet of one person – a person of extremely low moral character. With regard to the gun issue, I do understand that it was a retaliatory act in response to another act of physical violence, but when you are the head coach, you simply can’t act the way that Richardson did. There are better ways to handle such situations when you’re supposed to be a leader.

So, in essence, I’m pretty fed up with the pattern of irrational actions that this family seems intent on perpetuating. The father and son seem to enjoy showing their rumps in equally spectacular fashion. Probably because the former Arkansas coach has been setting some pretty poor examples all along. Ironically, after doing so much to pave the way, he and his son are putting a fair amount of cracks in the road to respectability.

Side Dishes

Nine in row for Michigan?: The wind chill’s below zero, but Michigan’s red hot. After starting the season in unbearably embarassing fashion at 0-6, the Wolverines have ripped off eight in a row. They look for number nine against Penn State today. This is huge for a Michigan program that has been on the ropes for a number of reasons recently. At the very least, this little show of inspiration by the Wolverines has shown the university that Tommy Amaker does indeed have the potential to make this program respectable again. His seat was getting plenty hot up there, but he’s in the process of fighting that off rather nicely.

Flores En Fuego: Manhattan sharp-shooter, Luis Flores, brought the house down in the Big Apple last night, logging a career-high 38 points in as many minutes against Niagara. The most impressive bit…15 of 16 from the free throw line. He also had five three-pointers on the evening. The junior hometown product is averaging 23.1 ppg this season and has spurred the Jaspers to six straight wins. His squad is also off to a soild 4-1 start in the MAAC.

Tonight’s Menu

• No. 6 Mississippi St @ LSU, 8:00 p.m. ET: SEC schools looking for their first conference win. Two of the nation’s best, Mario Austin for the Bulldogs and Ronald Dupree of the Tigers, will lead their teams into battle.

• No. 15 Indiana @ Ohio State, 8:00 p.m. ET: Big road game for the Hoosiers. Brent Darby and the Buckeyes look to defend their turf against the reigning national runners-up.

• No. 22 Texas Tech @ Kansas State, 7:00 p.m. ET: Bobby Knight’s crew opens up their Big 12 season in middle America.

That’s it for this Saturday. Enjoy!

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