by Max Brantley
Thorough coverage here from the Stephens Washington Bureau on former Hog basketball coach Nolan Richardson's testimony before Congress yesterday. He worked over the UA some more for his firing and enters the current athletic controversy by saying Stan Heath is deserving of more time to prove himself as UAF basketball coach.
The former coach said he was "sabotaged" by charges of recruiting violations in 1997, three years removed from a national championship.
He blasted longtime Athletic Director Frank Broyles, who announced his impending retirement last month. Richardson said Broyles forced him to recruit Arkansas high school players in the late 1990s, leading to mediocre seasons.
UA stopped recruiting junior college players for two seasons as a result of the NCAA investigation.
"Frank gave up two years of junior college ... and look what I got? I got the neighborhood team," he said, adding that, "I had all the little kids around Arkansas. You ain't going to win no national championship with a neighborhood team."
Richardson compared his and Heath's circumstance to Nutt's, who had two straight 4-7 seasons before finishing last year with a 10-4 record.
In early 2004, Nutt anticipated below-average seasons because of an NCAA investigation that resulted in reduced scholarships.
"So I couldn't recruit, but did you hear me cry?" Richardson said Wednesday. "Did you hear me say 'Give me two more years?' Did you hear me say 'This is going to hurt us about two or three years and we'll bounce back?' Never once."