Vexation for Vegas
UNLV's Runnin' Rebels undergo a turbulent week
The UNLV basketball team's troubles didn't end with its loss to Duke in the NCAA semifinals last month. Here is some of the bad news that the Runnin' Rebels ran into last week.
•A Las Vegas radio station, KNUU, reported that UNLV stars Larry Johnson and Anderson Hunt and a teammate at the time, Moses Scurry, visited the home of Richard (the Fixer) Perry on more than one occasion (in 1989 and 1990). Perry has twice been convicted on charges of sports bribery. Rebel coach Jerry Tarkanian warned his players in February to stay away from Perry.
•The Los Angeles Times reported that Salt Lake City businessman Vic Deauvono helped UNLV in recruiting Melvin Love, now a Rebel junior. The article also said there was evidence indicating that Deauvono arranged tutoring for Love before the player enrolled in the school. These would both be NCAA violations. Both Love and Deauvono denied the allegations, but UNLV president Robert Maxson said that the school would investigate.
•UNLV legal counsel Brad Booke said that Vegas won't challenge some of the 29 allegations that the NCAA leveled against it last December. According to Las Vegas television station KVBC, the school will not dispute charges that the coaching staff helped players pay rent and utilities on their apartments and that it set up tutorial programs for senior Barry Young and Lloyd Daniels while both were being recruited by UNLV.
•The Rebels signed J.R. Rider, a 6'5" swingman who last season averaged 34.7 points and 11.4 rebounds at Antelope Valley community college in Lancaster, Calif. After leaving Encinal High in Alameda, Calif., without graduating, Rider earned a graduate equivalency diploma before flunking out of Allen County Community College in Kansas. While at Allen, Rider pleaded no contest to a battery misdemeanor, paid a $201 fine and served a probationary sentence. He then entered Antelope Valley, or as coach Newton Chelette, a former UNLV volunteer assistant, calls it, "UNAV, for University of Nevada-Antelope Valley." (George Tarkanian, Jerry's son, is a volunteer assistant at Antelope Valley.) To become eligible at Antelope Valley, Rider took seven units of physical education in summer school, which brought his grade point average up to 1.91. That was below the minimum of 2.00 needed for eligibility, but Chelette made an appeal to the state board of community colleges, which ruled that Rider could play.
•The Las Vegas Review-Journal raised the question of whether senior Greg Anthony severed his ties with his T-shirt company during the past season. The NCAA had warned UNLV that Anthony could not promote a commercial product, and Anthony says he quit the business in February. The paper quoted an unnamed UNLV official as saying, "I don't think he [Anthony] missed a beat." A source close to the team says that in the locker room before this season's Final Four semifinal, Anthony and teammates had some sort of disagreement about distribution of T-shirt revenues.
Not all the UNLV news last week was bad. D. Alan Williams, chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, said that UNLV would be spared the so-called death penalty because it hadn't been a repeat offender within the last five years. And Jerry Tarkanian was honored at a Las Vegas roast to benefit a lobbying and public relations group in Washington, D.C., called the Federation for Intercollegiate Fairness and Equity.
Out of the Gate