The Sebastian County branch of the NAACP has asked to meet with leaders at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith to discuss how the school investigated comments by the men's basketball coach about a former player's hairstyle.
Tyler Williams, who is black, wears his hair in dreadlocks. In a complaint alleging racial discrimination, Williams stated he was dismissed from the team after Coach Jim Boone, who is white, spoke disapprovingly about his hairstyle.
An internal investigation found no "substantial" evidence of discrimination, Chancellor Terisa Riley announced in a Sept. 11 email sent to the campus community. In that email, Riley said the university's athletic department "will not condone or allow a policy, procedure, or practice — conveyed verbally or in writing — to dictate the hair styles or hair lengths for its student athletes."
The Sebastian County branch of the NAACP "seeks answers to a series of questions surrounding the incident and welcomes a meeting with UAFS leadership to discuss the path forward," according to a statement dated Monday.
The group's statement asked for a meeting on or before Oct. 18 and also posed several questions to Riley.
Among the questions, the group is asking "what factors did the investigatory team consider" and also for Riley, who is white, to "identify any persons of color who participated in the evaluation" of the complaint.
Williams now attends Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma.