Arkansas State's Nutt has no assurances next year

Updated: April 7, 2007, 2:46 PM ET
Associated Press

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Arkansas State coach Dickey Nutt will go into next basketball season with no guarantees about his future at the school.

Arkansas State Chancellor Robert Potts and Athletic Director Dean Lee said the school did not extend Nutt's contract, which is to run out next March.

"We commend Coach Dickey Nutt and his assistants on the accomplishments of the men's basketball team during the latter part of the season leading to a division championship and to the 2007 Sun Belt Tournament finals," Potts and Lee said in a joint statement. "We feel the team is poised to continue this level of performance next year."

Nutt finished the season with an 18-15 record.

Nutt coached in a similar position in 2004, but the school offered a three-year extension in March 2005. In 1995, his first year at Arkansas State, Nutt also worked under a one-year contract.

In 2004, Nutt said: "I've been under a one-year deal before, and I said it then and I will say it again, I wish that on no one."

Nutt had a losing record in his first season, but had a winning record in 1996, 20 wins and a Sun Belt Conference regular-season title in 1997 and an 18-12 record and the school's only NCAA Tournament berth in 1998.

"Right now my total focus is on next year," Nutt said Friday. "My job is to sell ASU and sell our recruits on ASU, and that's my focus. I'm confident that we are going to get some good guys in here, and we are going to be good again. Naturally, I just want to keep my total focus on next year's team."

Nutt will likely become Arkansas State's all-time winningest coach next season. He has an overall record of 180-170 in 12 years to rank third in school history -- just 11 games short of John Rauth's 191 wins from 1949-63.

"My job and my philosophy have not changed," Nutt said. "We have to sell our recruits on ASU and our basketball program and myself. If a young man is concerned about that, we have to move on to the next.

"We feel like we can sell as good as anybody. With that being said, that's exactly what my belief is, and we don't let anything affect our recruiting. We are working full speed, and we have a great program to sell."

Neither Lee nor Potts would elaborate on why Nutt's contract wasn't extended.

"The evaluation process does look at the total program and addresses all the issues, and we do use the conference as a standard of excellence as far as measuring of success," Lee said. "But we also look at a full gamut of everything associated with the program."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press