FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- After an angry tirade to the media in which he questioned why reporters covering his team are all white, Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson is closing practices and limiting access to his players.
"My practices will be closed to the media from this day until I decide when I'll open it again, if I ever open it again while I am still the basketball coach here," he said Monday.
The coach lashed out at criticism of the Razorbacks' record and said he would make himself less available. Reporters should not try to reach him, he said.
"Do not call me ever on my phone, none of you, at my home ever again. Those lines are no longer for communications with me," Richardson said.
The Arkansas coach said he had earned the right to have a season considered subpar by Razorback standards. On Saturday, Richardson had said after a loss to then-No. 12 Kentucky that, if Arkansas would buy out his contract, "they can take the job tomorrow."
Arkansas is 13-13 overall and 5-9 in the Southeastern Conference. The record is atypical for Richardson, who has taken the Razorbacks to the NCAA tournament 14 of the last 15 years and to a postseason tournament for 16 consecutive years.
Fayetteville campus Chancellor John White said Sunday that he believed Richardson's comments about having his seven-year contract bought out stemmed from the coach's competitiveness. He said he expected Richardson to complete his contract.
Richardson said Monday he planned to be at Arkansas for a long time.
"The more you are on my case," he said, "the longer I will stay here. So maybe that's what you want."
He expressed disappointment that all the reporters at the news conference were white.
"When I look at all of you people in this room, I see no one look like me, talk like me or act like me," he said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.