Nolan Issues Apologies After Game

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson clarified his criticism of the media and fans after Wednesday's game at Mississippi State. He said he loves most members of the media, and Razorback supporters, and apologized to those he might have offended with his strong statement.

After the game, Coach Nolan Richardson said that "as far as rumors, I feel this way about them sometimes -- where there is smoke, there could be fire."

He noted that if this is the end of his career at Arkansas, he is proud of what he has accomplished.

"I am very proud that when I started with five or six basketball coaches and now there is more than 39," Richardson said. "I think Martin Luther King died for something. So if I have to do what I did and leave my position because of my beliefs, then I feel so good. It's not about the job, it is about being fair and standing for what's fair. I have been honored to be able to work in that community."

Richardson also took time in his postgame press conference to apologize to all but "one percent" of the fans.

"To clarify the fact, everybody knows and I assume everybody knows that I think Arkansas fans are the greatest fans in America and I say that after every ballgame," Richardson said. "I still think they are great. I did make a statement when I used fans, but I really didn't mean fans of the general public because they are good.
I am talking about that one percent that spend most of their time on talk shows moaning and griping about the Razorbacks and their basketball coach. If there is an apology (needed), I give that. The fans that live in and around Fayetteville are great wonderful people. I wouldn't have bought me a farm there if I didn't think that. I would have hurried and got me a littlee house and got out of Dodge at one time. So let me clarify that."

He also apologized to media members Paul Eells, Mike Nail, Nate Allen, Dudley Dawson, Bob Holt and Chuck Barrett for lumping them in with a media group that he beleived did not treat him fairly.

"I have been stereotyped so many times and it looks like I did the same thing when I said media," Richardson said. "I think there are more guys in the media that I think are very good people and I should have used the word 'some media.' "

I guess first of all, I thought Nolan took the high road in his press conference and that is something I am grateful for.

His apology to the fans was the right thing to do. His apologies to the media members showed some class as well since he lumped all of us in the same boat on Monday.

I respect this guy so much, but also know that he is not very politically correct, and that's not how the world works anymore. It's been a long hard week. I wish I could type some more, but I am just spent. It seems like it is over. I guess we will know soon.

On a personal note, I will say that Nolan said, "I think Dudley Dawson is a good man. Sometimes we disagree, but I think he is a good man. I don't think there is no maliciousness in his body. But when you write sometimes you have to talk like there is a problem. I don't have a problem with him because I have done some things he doesn't even know about."

I thanked him after the press conference and told him it meant a lot to me.

--Dudley E. Dawson

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