Saturday, March 1, 2003

Harrick Jr. suspended after allegations

Former player accused him of paying expenses

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. - Assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr. was suspended Friday, a day after a former player accused him of paying his expenses and committing academic fraud.

"In light of the seriousness of the allegations, we feel that it is appropriate to suspend Jim Harrick Jr. with pay, until such time as these allegations are investigated to our satisfaction," athletic director Vince Dooley said in a statement.

In an interview with ESPN Thursday, Tony Cole said Harrick Jr. paid Cole's $300 phone bill and took or arranged for someone else to take two correspondence courses for him from Lincoln Trail College. Harrick Jr. also taught a coaching class at Georgia and gave Cole an "A" even though the player never attended the class, Cole said.

University president Michael Adams also issued a statement, saying Ed Tolley, legal counsel to the university's athletic association, would lead the investigation and that the NCAA's enforcement director, David Price, had been asked for assistance.

Last season, Harrick Jr. admitted his school-issued biography exaggerated his playing career and academic honors.

COLORADO: Guard James "Mookie" Wright had his suspension lifted by the university and can begin playing as soon as coach Ricardo Patton approves, assistant athletic director David Plati said. In January, Wright was suspended from classes after he was accused of letting himself into a dorm room on Oct. 11, crawling into bed with a sleeping 18-year-old woman and making sexual advances.

ARKANSAS: Nolan Richardson was fired because he showed a lack of confidence in his program, not because he is black and outspoken, the school said in response to a lawsuit filed by the former coach.

Richardson complained in February 2002 that he was treated differently because of his race and said the university could buy out his contract. University lawyers said in court papers filed Friday that Richardson's comments "immediately indicated a lack of confidence in the basketball program and his leadership for it."

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