Jim Boone, the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith denies allegations that he released a player due to his choice of hairstyle.
What We Know:
- An attorney for Jim Boone made a statement last week. He says that Tyler Williams actually quit the team and was not dismissed. The statement goes on to say that Williams was not mistreated and the allegations that Boone’s actions were racist are an “unwarranted defamatory assault” on the coach’s character.
- Terisa Riley, Chancellor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith says that the school is investigating Williams’ complaint. “The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith will not tolerate racism or retaliation,” Riley said in the statement last week. “We never want a student to leave the university feeling disrespected or devalued, and this situation serves as a powerful reminder that we must continually assess and work to create an inclusive environment that values all members of our community.”
- Rachel Putman, UAFS’s interim director of public information, told the Oklahoman she expects the investigation to be completed within a few days. Putman said Tuesday the investigation began when the school received the letter from the Williams’ family.
- Tyler Williams is a senior and was the second-leading scorer on the team last season. He says that because he is in his senior year, Boone made an exception for him but would not recruit players with similar hairstyles such as his in the future.
- Disturbed by what was said, Williams spoke with his parents and a meeting was held with Boone on Aug. 16. Williams says that he was released during the meeting. A letter was sent to the University from the family on Aug. 19 and included an audio taken by Tyler Williams. Screenshots of the letter have surfaced online, the family only sent the letter to the university yet they are glad that the story is being put out there.
- Williams’ parents wants Coach Boone released as coach at UAFS. In the letter they stated that “Boone’s action of policing hair is a form of pervasive racism and bias.”