Trial for Nolan Richardson Lawsuit Begins Wednesday

MAY 3, 2004 - Posted at 7:35 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Former University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson's lawsuit against the school and its fund-raising foundation gets underway this week.

Richardson says his firing in 2002 came because he is black and outspoken.

Richardson wants U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson, Jr. to declare that the university punished him for exercising his freedom of speech and subjected him to racial discrimination, including retaliation for imposing limitations on future employment.

The university denies the allegations and says Richardson was terminated after he publicly asked to be relieved of his duties and for his contract to be paid off.

The case is to begin in federal court in Little Rock on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)