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Richardson not backing down in court testimony

By wire services
Published May 26, 2004

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Former Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson said Tuesday the school fired him after a news conference that included racially charged comments, not for his promise to leave the university if it would buy out his contract.

Testifying in the federal trial of his discrimination lawsuit, Richardson said university Chancellor John A. White and athletic director Frank Broyles, in telling him he was no longer coach, cited a news conference at which Richardson complained he was treated differently because he is black.

Richardson finished testifying, and his attorney said the plaintiff's case would be completed today. University attorney Phil Kaplan has said it will take four days to present a defense.

University officials have testified they fired Richardson after he said publicly that if the school paid him his money, "they can take the job tomorrow." White said that, acting on Broyles' recommendation, he decided to fire Richardson in advance of the coach invoking racial matters at a Feb. 25, 2002, news conference in Fayetteville.

STANFORD: Trent Johnson, the Nevada coach who served three seasons as an assistant under former Cardinal coach Mike Montgomery, was formally announced as coach. Athletic director Ted Leland Leland contacted Johnson on Friday after Montgomery's hiring with the NBA's Golden State Warriors became official. Johnson met with school officials for about six hours Sunday. Leland has been impressed with Johnson, 47, for years and had him in mind if Montgomery ever decided to leave.


South Florida junior catcher Devin Ivany and freshman pitcher Casey Hudspeth were named first team All-Conference USA, and senior shortstop Myron Leslie was named to the second team. Hudspeth also was named to the all-freshman team.

Ivany batted .356 with five home runs and a team-high 57 RBIs (sixth in C-USA) and threw out a league-high 23 base runners attempting to steal. Hudspeth led C-USA in games started (16) and innings pitched (104.1), had the second-most wins (8-4 record) and fourth-best ERA (3.45).

Leslie, from Brandon, is USF's all-time leader in hits (312), games played (241), doubles (74), runs scored (227) and walks (174). He led the Bulls this season in batting (.361), doubles (23) and runs (60), led C-USA with 42 walks and was second in the conference in on-base percentage at .484.

ACC TOURNAMENT: Anthony Buffone had four hits and Brian Jaronsinski drove in five runs as Maryland beat Wake Forest 15-12 in the first round in Salem, Va. Maryland (22-32) faces top-seeded Georgia Tech today, and Wake Forest ended its season 17-33.

AWARD: Long Beach State pitcher Jered Weaver and Texas closer Huston Street were among five finalists announced for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player. Rice pitcher Wade Townsend, Arizona State infielder Dustin Pedroia and Mississippi pitcher/infielder Stephen Head also were finalists. The winner of the award, presented by the U.S. Baseball Federation in partnership with the U.S. Baseball Federation, is announced July 13.


With a few weeks left to make a decision that will shape the future of the sport, Bowl Championship Series officials are narrowing their options for adding a fifth game to their multimillion-dollar package.

BCS chairman Mike Tranghese said opinions among the six major BCS conferences and the bowls are changing frequently between models that would add a week to the season and those that would simply add a fifth game and leave the structure relatively unchanged.

"I couldn't handicap it," Tranghese said Tuesday from the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach. "I could tell you exactly what everyone's position was of last week, and I could tell you that I think a lot of positions are changing. They've got to go back, got to study it, got to talk to their membership."

What Tranghese knows is that models that involve adding a week to the season are meeting resistance from school presidents.

The fifth game is being added to give schools from smaller conferences a better chance to make the BCS.

MISSISSIPPI: New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister announced he is giving $1-million to the university toward construction of an indoor practice facility. McAllister, a former standout back at Ole Miss, appeared with university officials at a news conference to discuss the donation. McAllister said he has considered the donation since his eligibility expired after the 2000 season in a loss in the Music City Bowl.


Tampa coach Leslie Kanter signed two players to national letters of intent for a total of five incoming freshmen and one transfer expected to join the Spartans. Melbourne High catcher Brandi Blout and infielder Megan Connolly of Flossmoor, Ill. (Homewood Flossmoor High) have signed.


Florida's Alexis Gordon and Jennifer Magley each won in the second round at the NCAA singles championships in Athens, Ga., but Gordon-Julie Rotondi lost the opening match in the doubles championships. Gordon, the No. 5 seed in the 64-player singles field, avenged a regular-season loss to Alabama's Robin Stephenson with a 6-3, 7-5 victory. Gordon, a junior, faces Vanderbilt's Audra Falk today. Magley won her 11th consecutive match, 6-2, 6-1 over Washington's Erin Hoe.

News Corp.'s Fox is starting a digital-cable network dedicated to college sports to compete with a similar channel launched last year. Fox College Sports will include three channels that offer regional coverage from major conferences such as the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big 12 and Pacific 10. The channels, which will be available on digital cable for an extra monthly fee, are scheduled to start this fall.

- Times staff writer Pete Young contributed to this report.

[Last modified May 26, 2004, 01:00:46]

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