Nolan Richardson Isn't Impressed

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson has read the Memphis reprimand of the assistant coach who shoved J. J. Sullinger. It doesn't go far enough in the eyes of the UA coach.

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson reviewed the reprimand issued Thursday by Memphis officials for assistant coach Tony Barbee. The Arkansas coach thinks it should have been stronger.

Barbee shoved J. J. Sullinger when the UA player dove for a loose ball and landed on Barbee seated on the Memphis bench during the second half of the Hogs' 90-73 victory over the Tigers.

In the statement from the Memphis athletic department, Barbee said he spoke with Richardson, UA assistant coach Mike Anderson and J. J. Sullinger after the game, but Richardson said he didn't have a conversation with Barbee.

"If he spoke to me, I'm not aware of it," Richardson said. "I sure didn't have a conversation with him.

"I guess this is a wonderful ... a slap on the wrist, a reprimand. I guess it will help to make people aware of the incident and that it happened, so that it doesn't happen again in the future. I can't help but think of the Woody Hayes incident.

"If I had done this, I'd be looking for a job today. They already say I can't coach, and now they would be saying that I've lost my mind.

"I don't remember talking to the coach, and I thought this would be stronger than it was ... the reprimand."

The Memphis announcement said:

University of Memphis staff and athletic department officials have reveiwed videotape of an incident involving Memphis assistant coach Tony Barbee and Razorback player J. J. Sullinger during the second hlaf of last night's Memphis-Arkansas basketball game and have taken the following action.

Coach Barbee, who has had an exemplary record at the U of M, talked to Sullinger, Arkansas assistant coach Mike Anderson and with head coach Nolan Richardson following hte contest and offered his explanation of the incdent. Barbee met thursday morning with Memphis athletic director R. C. Johnson and Tiger coach John Calipari to discuss the matter.

"I have informed Coach Barbee that he will receive an official letter of reprimand from the Athletic Director's office and that he is required to write letters of apology to Coach Richardson and to the Arkansas player," said Johnson. "After reviewing the tape, I feel that this disciplinary action is warranted and I now consier this matter closed."

Johnson acknowledged that he has contacted UofM President Dr. Shirley Raines and the Conference USA office as to his decision regarding the incident.

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