Buyout Ready if Nolan Wants It

Sources say Arkansas officials have the required $3 million for a buyout of the final six years of Nolan Richardson's contract. And, those sources say they believe Richardson will accept the money and tender his resignation. Richardson's agent says no buyout has been offerred at this point.

Hawgs Illustrated has learned from at least two reliable sources Wednesday afternoon that Nolan Richardson will agree to a $3 million buyout that will be presented to him Thursday morning. HI.com has confirmed that the $3 million figure is an accurate reflection of the terms in his contract.

This isn't just that the buyout will be presented, but confirmation that he will accept the money, the conditions and tender his resignation. These two sources say that it is now over.

Those sources were operating on the assumption that Nolan was speaking the truth when he said Saturday in Lexington, Ky., after the Hogs' loss to Kentucky that he "would walk away tomorrow" if the school would buyout his contract.

Things could change before Thursday morning, but I think these are good sources and they are correct in their information at this time.

White said that no meeting is planned at this point, but that he hoped there would be a meeting to discuss Richardson's news conference Monday in which he blasted members of the media and issued other strong statements on his role at the University of Arkansas.

Kevin Scanlon, Richardson's agent, said neither he nor Richardson had received a buyout offer from the UofA. And, Scanlon said no meeting had been scheduled at this point.

Athletic Director Frank Broyles has been asked by Chancellor John White to meet with Nolan to discuss the issues at hand. After that, Frank will make a report to the Chancellor. I would guess that both of those matters will happen on Thursday. Then, we'll see what happens thereafter.

I see this playing out two ways, and I do not think it will start out as if the school wants Nolan to leave at this very moment. That can be accomplished, but there is some ground to cover first.

Initially, I think Nolan will be asked about some of the things he mentioned, about accusations and his purpose. And, after that has been defined, then he will be given some choices ... perhaps he can issue apologies and promises on future conduct to remain as coach. Does he even want that?

If not, then the next course of action will take place. That could include the buyout proposal. But, I would think there are certain clauses in his contract about criticism of the university and his superiors and fans that would affect what could be grounds for dismissal, and the potential of the buyout. In other words, it could be reduced if some of these clauses have been violated ... for instance if his conduct is deemed not to be in the university's best interests and these topics have been ruled off limits.

If Nolan wants out, I think the decision has been made to accomodate him. But, I think there are some issues to discuss before that bridge is crossed. And, it may be that the preliminary discussions lead straight to that bridge, and it will be quick passage. I can't tell that at this point, but I've been led to believe that it could indeed be the case. Perhaps it will all happen swiftly, but it may be that there are plans in place on Nolan's part that will draw it out a bit.

So, first things first. There will be a meeting sometime Thursday between Frank and Nolan. Then, there will surely be a meeting between Frank and White. Then, there could be a meeting between White and Nolan, if there is a way to reconcile. Or, it may be that some lawyers get to meet.

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