The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

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The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:15 pm

I used to head to Las Vegas to see Coach Tarkanian and his Runnin' Rebels play as often as I could back in the late 80's.....

He brought an unorthodox toughness and his own towel sucking style to the game of college basketball that is often too '"button downed" and dull.  

I know his players hated him for his extremely tough practices, but loved him for turning them into winners, saving many from lives that may have otherwise gone in the wrong direction, and for some, being the father-figure they never had.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12309860/jerry-tarkanian-unlv-runnin-rebels-coach-left-mark-basketball-city-las-vegas

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by pilotram on Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:45 pm

A couple great quotes:

"I always like to get transfers, especially from the Pac-10. They already have their cars paid for."

"Nine out of 10 schools are cheating. The other one is in last place."

"The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they're going to give Cleveland State another year of probation."

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:24 am

I guess my excuse is I was living in Europe at the time, but I had no idea until last night that Coach Tarkanian was WCC (then the WCAC) Coach of the Year at UNLV in 1975.

Thanks Bill Johnson...

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by up7587 on Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:36 am

UNLV left the WCAC in 1975, and UP joined in 1976, so I never really followed Tark's career closely other than when he was in the Final Four, or in SI for his fights with the NCAA.

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:05 am

up7587 wrote:UNLV left the WCAC in 1975, and UP joined in 1976, so I never really followed Tark's career closely other than when he was in the Final Four, or in SI for his fights with the NCAA.
Interesting....

I just realized I don't know the history of the WCAC/WCC and Portland like I should.  I was out of the country 1969 to 1971, 1975 to 1984, and 1989 to 1991, and none of the Asian, European or Middle-Eastern newspapers carried news about the Pilots. (Oh, and for you younger readers, we didn't have the internet then) Shocked

Did UP replace UNLV in the WCC/WCAC?
Was UP an independent up until joining the WCAC/WCC?
Was there a coaching change at UP when UP joined the WCC/WCAC?
Was UP a D1 school before joining?

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by DJ Sherman on Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:33 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:Did UP replace UNLV in the WCC/WCAC?
From the WCC website:
[In 1975] UNLV announced its independence after winning a WCAC men's basketball crown. The WCAC was left with seven member institutions for two years, before welcoming the University of Portland prior to the 1977-78 school year.
However, sports-reference.com backs up up7587, with UP playing in the WCC for the 1976-77 season. Funny thing, semantics!  

Was UP an independent up until joining the WCAC/WCC?
Was there a coaching change at UP when UP joined the WCC/WCAC?

Jack Avina presided through the transition, lasting from 1970-87. The same link shows UP was an independent before joining the WCAC.

Was UP a D1 school before joining?
According to this, UP's been in D-1 for men's basketball since 1953-54.

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Re: The "Shark" dead at age 84 -- RIP

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:39 pm

Thanks for all that DJ.....good to see you posting.  Thought we might see you at the USF and SCU games...or did we?  Embarassed

When I was at UP in the '60's the Pilots were definitely independent, but as I recall, there was no distinction between D1 and D2, etc. until the early '70's.  I do remember there were a number of NAIA schools the Pilots played in the '60's..  

Virtually all the Catholic schools were independents then...and the lack of regulation in recruiting made for a free-for-all when it came to acquiring the best high school players and veterans of military service teams.  It was not unusual to have players that were a couple of years older than the BYU players are today.

IMO, the formation of conferences has tightened up the rules and made basketball not only more competitive and fun to watch, but has made for a slightly more level court, so to speak.  Still, some schools and conferences receive such outrageous amounts of money from various sponsors and boosters that there will always be an imbalance.

As this is Coach Tarkanian's thread, here's what he had to say about that imbalance: “In major college basketball, nine out of 10 teams break the rules,” Tarkanian wrote in his 2005 autobiography. “The problem is, the NCAA determines what an ‘extra benefit’ really is, and it depends on how they view your school. At UCLA, you could probably buy a kid a car and it wouldn’t be considered an ‘extra benefit.’ At someplace else, you couldn’t buy a kid a gallon of gas.”

For his refusal to knuckle under to the NCAA rules he so despised, Tarkanian had a total of 55 wins vacated spanning six seasons as a collegiate coach, according to the NCAA record books, though none of those occurred at UNLV. He had six NCAA tournament wins vacated from his tenure at Long Beach State, where he coached before UNLV, and 49 more wins stripped from his tenure at Fresno State after he left UNLV.

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