Saturday, July 17, 2004

Affleck declines 'Glory' role

Ben Affleck has ended negotiations with Walt Disney Pictures to play Texas Western basketball coach Don Haskins in the movie Glory Road.

"He's not going to do it," Ken Sunshine, a spokesman for Affleck, said this week. "We're not going to get into any details. ... It will be a good project for somebody."

Haskin's 1966 team was the first ever to win a national title with five black starters.

"We're looking for other actors," said Claire Cooper, the movie's unit publicist. "We still plan to start production in August."

Haskins, who coached 38 years at the school now known as the University of Texas at El Paso, said last week he'd heard Affleck had yet to sign his deal. "I'm disappointed, but I know they'll find the right person," Haskins said.

Haskins has always been a reluctant hero about his role in changing sports history, saying he picked the best players for the 72-65 win over Kentucky's heavily favored and all-white basketball powerhouse. After the victory, universities all over the country increased their recruiting of black players.

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