You may not recognize him at first - his hair is now gray, and he's reportedly considerably thinner than he was in his U of A days - but Nolan Richardson is returning to your TV set. On Sunday morning (9:30 EST to be exact), he will be featured on ESPN's top-notch news magazine "Outside the Lines." The show will focus on his current gig as the coach of Mexico's national team, which is now competing in the Tournament of the Americas for a spot in the 2008 Olympics. (Richardson's team beat Puerto Rico 100-89 last night in its first tournament game.)
Nolan's appearance may have changed, but, in an accompanying column by Andy Katz of ESPN.com, he displays his trademark feistiness, remarking about his failed lawsuit against the university, "Well, you gotta remember this, it wasn't about the money. It's about principles that I live by because I had to do that. I never would've ever rested with myself [if he didn't file suit]." He also says that he hasn't had a job interview since leaving Arkansas in 2002.
I've lived out of the state long enough to not have a strong sense for how Razorback fans now feel about Nolan. It wouldn't be surprising if there's a good chunk of them that would be happy to never see or hear from this fascinating and complex man again. Not me. My feelings about his departure are unresolved, but I can't wait to see Sunday's show.