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Arkansas basketball player says dismissal due to dreadlocks

September 4, 2019

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas university is investigating allegations that a men’s basketball player was dismissed because the coach disapproved of his dreadlocks.

Tyler Williams alleges he was dismissed from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith’s basketball team last month after head coach Jim Boone criticized his hairstyle.

A complaint filed by Williams alleges Boone’s action amounts to “racism and bias.” Chancellor Terisa Riley confirmed in an email Tuesday the school is investigating but officials say Boone remains the men’s basketball coach.

Williams, a 22-year-old, 6-foot guard and honor roll student who played high school basketball in Oklahoma, has transferred to a college in the Oklahoma City area.

In December, a New Jersey high school wrestler had his dreadlocks cut after a referee told him to lose the hairstyle or forfeit his match.

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