I did. I did quite a bit. I had a chance to coach the women in my last episode when I went over to open up the Tulsa Shock. That was the crowning and ending moments of my coaching career. (laughs).

It’s a new environment now. One and done. Players come in, they play one year, then they go to the pros. That’s the new thing. Do you think you could coach now?

My first group to ever win with Corliss Williamson and Scotty Thurman (we won one, should have one two) and they still went ahead and forfeited their senior year and go hardship. But that was the first time I had any guys leave prior to their senior year. The trend was beginning at that point that they were going to be jumping ship. I know where I came from and I know how hard it is to not have basketball to have an opportunity to make a living and how tough it is, even with a degree in your pocket to find a job. I’m against the ones that are not ready to go, but if you can play – there’s no need to stay in school. You can buy a university with the kind of money they’re giving away today.

Should players get paid, given all the money they generate for a school?

I don’t think you should used the word paid. Back in the days when I played at UTEP or Texas Western, I think they gave us $15 a month. I know they give kids that qualify their grant money. But there’s no question they ought to be able to have a stipend. I get a kick out of them saying their student/athletes. That might not be true since they play at midnight, 2 o’clock in the morning. You got people on TV playing basketball all night long now. That’s not just a college student. Who do you like this weekend? I’m pulling for my man. (UConn coach Kevin Ollie) I call him Patches. You know – ‘We’re depending on you, son, to pull the family through.’ That’s Patches to me.

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Nolan Richardson Talks NCAA Tournament and Legacy  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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