Posted by Adam Butler on January 26, 2010
by author Rus Bradburn is to be released soon. In this book review/ interview on Slam Online, Bradburd talks about the book, and essentially promises to paint a lot of folks with a pretty broad brush–ironic, considering the book appears to be about the injustice that is created by such actions.
I think the book will be entertaining, but one also has to worry about its accuracy when the opening line of the review has it set in the wrong state (AL instead of AR). And, in the book, the author credits Ed Beshara, a man whom Richardson did not know until he took the Tulsa job and arrived in OK, with convincing him to take the Golden Hurrican job (Beshara convinced Nolan to head to Arkansas years later).
I am a staunch supporter of Richardson, and I think his meltdown started years before his firing–more like in 1997-98-99 when he (rightly) felt then Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles was a). Treating him much differently than the startlingly less accomplished UA football coach, Houston Nutt and b.) making behind-the-scenes maneuvers to remove him just a few years after a National Championship, a National Runner up, and Sweet 16 with mostly freshmen, 3-year run from 1994-1996.
That said, this review seems to suggest the book may be tilted a little too far to Nolan’s side, in terms of fairness, even for my taste. We’ll see, I guess.
I do agree with the author’s points about Richardson thriving in the “me against the World” role and that Nolan wouldn’t have been Nolan if he had done things any other way. And, I cringed, but nodded (if the quote was accurate) when he fired these salvos in the interview:
There’s no good way for me to say Frank Broyles stood up at a faculty meeting and said: “I’ll go home to Georgia before I have n*ggers on my team.” There’s no way for me to tell that story other than the way it is.
To me meanness is meanness and kindness is kindness. I think that Frank Broyles has a meanness and pettiness and I think it’s what happens when people have unchecked power. Here’s a guy who has never had to answer to anybody and is controlling who the president of the university is.
I think more than a backlash from Frank Broyles, I fear backlash from the Arkansas media who have bowed down to this guy for years and years.
The disappointment for me, though, is that for many years, he let his understandable hatred for 2 men (Broyles and the former UA Chancellor and Prevaricator-in-Chief, John White) override his love for the program he (re)built and thousands and thousands of fans who respected and loved him much more than he could have ever imagined.
In the end, I think many like myself still do, but a once-proud program has been brought to its knees by a confluence of the fiasco, and many other events.
In a perfect world, Nolan would have orchestrated an amicble parting, handed over the reins to Mike Anderson, and written a tell-all that accurately represented the fury and passion that defined the construction and completion of the college basketball landscape-changing phenomenon that was 40 Minutes of Hell.
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