Nolan's name belongs on the court (column)...


It would be a great stamp on the court to end finally every glimmer left of that horrible night, under the cloak of darkness, people crept into BWA armed with sandpaper and military grade sanders and ground The Slobber Hog into a pile of dust swept into a dust pan and dumped in a dumpster out back. Thus the beginning of The Curse Of The Slobber Hog! Although the Curse has been diminished greatly in recent years, there are still remnants of it lingering around, The Invisible Man still gets into games, Pepsi, among others. This would seal out The Curse I believe. Not to mention, he earned it, and deserves it.

Statues are a fairly recent development in honoring athletic/coaching icons. They weren’t putting them up in the '60s, or even the '70s when JFB left the sideline to concentrate on being AD. The RRS field was officially named for JFB in 2007, the same night that DMac went for 321 yards against the Poultry. As I recall, the Broyles Center was named for him immediately upon its completion in 1973, while he was still coaching. McDonnell won his first NC in 1983 and left coaching in 2008, six years after Nolan was fired.

As far as Nolan not bringing up anything in the court case, you have to read the Judge’s opinion statement to see that he scolded UA and Broyles on how they handled the whole situation.

I genuinely feel Nolan was wronged on the way he was treated, the minute HDN arrived on the scene, in terms of raises, handling of the NCAA investigation, etc. I sense that Nolan felt that he deserved more having won the National Championship at a place like Arkansas. And what he saw was HDN’s opening season getting more praises from Broyles than what he receiveD.

I wish you hadn’t started your post with “I love Nolan, however…”. That usually rings alarm bells for me.


Don’t disagree with anything you say. My question was/is, and yes, it makes a difference, was the treatment because of race? I don’t honestly think so, but maybe I am kidding myself.

So how do we as supporters and those of us who donate to the foundation make this happen?

Tell the foundation no one will donate until it’s scheduled. They’ll schedule pretty quick.

Nolan deserves this. What he achieved was pretty amazing. We were lucky to have had him as the coach.

I think what happened to Nolan, not just the firing but all that led to it, is the biggest stain on the history of the program. We have paid dearly for it. I am so happy the school and Nolan have reconciled. Naming the court for Nolan is the right thing to do. He earned it!

Thank you as well for the kind comment.

Can you elaborate a little on “what happened to Nolan”? He became a rich man? He was given the resources to win a NC? He became famous and was given a stage to speak his mind? Then, after several years of a “working retirement” when he decided he was too big to recruit 18 year olds, he publicly told the UA they could take the job and shove it. John White, not Frank Broyles, ultimately made the decision that it was time for Nolan to go…

Nevertheless, you sound very insightful and reasonable… maybe you know something that Nolan doesn’t because when he got his day in court he had basically nothing. Or… maybe it’s just easier to go along with vague accusations of “racism” than to risk being accused to being small minded, or worse, for questioning those accusations - even when there is no evidence of them… or even specific accounts… under the bright lights of a public lawsuit??

It was as if he had been mostly swinging at air during his 17 years as head coach and now you are swinging with him.

What do those finely tuned alarm bells tell you Pavlov? Dinner?? Or are you just making your own vague accusations in support of Nolan’s vague accusations?

You know what might also “ring alarm bells”? Angrily calling a group of people “redneck SOBs”.

Wow! Seems the “redneck SOBs” comment hit a nerve.


Judge Wilson said it was.

It’s hard to argue with people whose biases cause them to make flat out misstatements, but I’ll give it a shot.

“Swinging at air”? False. He said he was discriminated against by the UA on the basis of his race. A federal judge agreed. If you don’t know that much you need to do some homework before running your mouth on this topic.

As for what happened to him, it’s well documented. If you don’t want to admit it–and you clearly don’t–that’s fine. It says more about you than Nolan. You undoubtedly were in the “No-Win” name calling crowd. That garbage started way earlier than it should have. We would kill for seasons like his “down” '96 season in which the bulk of the best recruiting class in America was gutted–largely due to NCAA incompetence.

Anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty knows that a lot happened to Nolan whether he was rich or not.

Early in his UA career, 2 of the most influential newspaper men in the state, and many of the fans, decided to openly and repeatedly question his work ethic and commitment because he had the nerve to occasionally leave practice to his assistants so he could drive to Tulsa to be there for Cancer treatments for his teenage daughter who was literally dying.

So if we want to start the “what happened to him” game, let’s start there. It alone would have been enough to cause me to feel pain and hatred until my dying days.

Then, let’s talk about how in 1997, after one of the best 7-year, non UCLA runs in modern college basketball history, let’s talk about how his boss was hopping around at an end-of-year banquet trying to rally support against him because he had the audacity to call some redneck SOBs redneck SOBs.

If you want, we can talk about how the then-sitting football coach–who didn’t even sniff the type of success Nolan had–was treated better and paid better and given a 2-year pass due to a NCAA investigation–nevermind that Nolan’s downfall largely began with, and stemmed from, a bogus NCAA investigation during which he received very little administrative UA support, even though he had absolutely earned it and HDN hadn’t.

We could also talk about how at the end the Chancellor acted like a complete clown and made the situation worse when a deft handling may have salvaged it.

But, my guess is that none of that matters to you because Nolan didn’t just shut up and win.

And, before you start it, I’ll add that I understand how and why Nolan was fired. Just like the much-less accomplished and much worse person that many of you treat like a deity–Petrino–Nolan essentially asked to be fired and embarrassed his bosses and when you do that you’re gonna get trouble.

It was bad for him and for MA and for the program and the state. I wish it hadn’t happened.

I understand why it happened, though. To a MUCH MUCH lesser extent I have been discriminated against all of my life.

And I can tell you that regardless of your accomplishments in life and the money you make, it sticks with you and you keep the receipts.

That’s why I’ll never minimize “what happened” to Nolan because I know that neither I, nor you, have even the faintest freaking idea how we would respond down the line after people had mocked us for caring for our dying daughter only to love us when we later won and then mock us after that when we lost.

I also understand that discrimination is vile and it stings and that money doesn’t change that. I’m frankly amazed that Nolan still lives here. He’s a lifer and loves the state and program much more than many who are held in higher esteem because they didn’t have the stones to speak their minds. I think it shows that he’s one of a kind.

The absolute truth is that Nolan had reason to be mad. In a perfect world he would have handled it better and decided not to burn it all down to make a (valid) point and would have seen the worth it passing the torch.

He didn’t handle it well. The UA was understandably unwilling to honor him for years. The wounds were fresh.

But he is what he is and mostly that’s great.

It’s now abundantly clear that it’s time for it to happen. And it’s also time for this asinine idea that Nolan just made it all up or should just shut up and cash the checks, to stop, also.

Life is nuanced. We should be, too. Recognize that everyone involved at the highest levels made mistakes. Put his name on the court. Heal the wounds. Promote the program and it’s trailblazing history. Just Do It.

I haven’t read the decision in years and years. I remember he beat up on Uof A but he did rule in UofA’s favor. I need to go read it again.

Frank did not handle the situation correctly. That is a given. The court needs to be named after Nolan. That is a given.

Nolan coached a team that won the National Championship for the Hogs. That is all we need to know. He also changed the way college basketball is played. He was a great coach and deserves recognition. Name the court.

Ruled that they discriminated but under burden shifting, they showed they also had other, non-discriminatory reasons for firing him.