by Max Brantley
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has scheduled a program at noon Wednesday on Arkansas Razorback Black History. It includes a presentation to former football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles for his "legacy in integrating Razorback sports."
Well. As any long-time fan knows, there's a lot of water under that particular bridge, from Jon Richardson to Nolan Richardson to Nolan Richardson's lawsuit over his firing.
Comes now on this cold day former judge, preacher and provocateur Wendell Griffen with a hot message he delivered to his congregation Sunday on the event. He's not complimentary about a tribute to Broyles, whom he depicts as resistant to integration. After crediting Broyles for the hiring of Richardson (and blaming him for the subsequent firing) Griffen wrote, in part:
However, Broyles refused to recruit black students to play football at the University of Arkansas for many years. As Rus Bradburd states in his biography of Nolan Richardson titled Forty Minutes of Hell to be released February 9 by HarperCollins, "The list of qualified black players who prepped in Arkansas while Broyles was coach--and refusing to desegregate--is damning." Bradburd later writes, "Not only would Frank Broyles be slower to desegregate than anyone else in the Southwest Conference, the famous coach at the big university was slower than virtually all of the other coaches in Arkansas. Ten white-majority colleges within the state of Arkansas desegregated their sports teams before the University of Arkansas."
There's more from the Richardson book, which sounds like it will be spicy.