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Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘A cry for help:’ Arkansas-Pine Bluff baseball coach explains departure, rocky tenure


Carlos James was one of the longest-tenured head coaches at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, leading the baseball program for 14 seasons.

That came to an end late in May when James announced his departure. On Monday, on local radio station 103.7 FM The Buzz, he explained what may have been the reason for his exit.

“I’ve always been taught to speak my mind, especially when I know I’m telling the truth,” James said on the Zone radio show, alluding to comments he made in a May 19 article by Tanner Spearman of the Pine Bluff Commercial News. “My struggles as far as scholarships and things like that just continued to get worse. It was more of a cry for help than anything. Sometimes, people take things the wrong way, and it leads to other things happening.”

In that article, James alleged he could offer only four scholarships to players this past season, which likely explains why the Golden Lions have missed the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament each year since 2018. Before those struggles, James won three SWAC West titles as head coach and was conference coach of the year in 2013.

Carlos James 71
Photo: Arkansas-Pine Bluff Athletics

“It just continued to get worse over the years,” James continued. “It got to a point to where we could compete at first, and then we won some league titles. And then, after a while, it just kept getting worse and worse and worse, and then you just couldn’t compete really at all.”

James went on to say he wasn’t upset with his departure and that he would like to coach again.

“You have to make decisions, and my decision was to speak out about it, and it led to this, but I’m not sorry for what I said, and I’ll never be sorry for what I said,” James.

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