I remember being a kid and trying to comprehend what was going on in the world of sports. Most of it was very confusing to me as all I knew what was going on was the simplest of things. I knew teams had to hurl a ball towards a basket in an effort to score more points than their opponents, but I had no idea of all the behind the scenes hoopla coaches and players had to deal with.
Things like recruiting, being recruited, scandals, sanctions and so much more are just a few of the many things anyone involved in the world of college athletics has to deal with. Not to mention, things like hot tubs sounded like all the rage back in the day.
That brings me to former UNLV Rebels coach, Jerry Tarkanian. Tark, as he is lovingly known, was known as a recruiter of great talent as well as a coach who would not mind walking the fine line of rules set forth by the NCAA. Whether he was right or wrong, accusers had actual evidence as to his wrongdoings or if he was breaking a rule in which no one cared about, Tarkanian navigated the realm of college hoops like no other before him.
At the end of the day the grizzled coach compiled an amazing 509 wins and four Final Four appearances. That is enough — no matter the back story — to make anyone an icon for the program that they coached. So, it comes to a shock to no one that UNLV has announced plans to build a statue of their living legend.
This is just another feather in Tark’s hat as UNLV’s home floor is already named after him and he is going to be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame class in September.
And no, I still don’t care what he may or may have not done against NCAA rules a few decades ago.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone