Arkansas coach claims player quit, not dropped over dreadlocks

The men’s head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith says allegations that he dismissed a player over his dreadlocks are not true.

An attorney for coach Jim Boone said in a statement Thursday that 22-year-old Tyler Williams actually quit the team and wasn’t dismissed over his hairstyle.

The statement says Williams wasn’t mistreated and allegations that Boone’s actions were racist are an “unwarranted defamatory assault” on the coach’s character.

University Chancellor Terisa Riley has said the school is investigating Williams’ complaint, but officials say Boone remains the men’s basketball coach.

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