(Fred Weinberg) – If the President of UNLV, Len Jessup, and its Athletic Director, Tina Murphy, (you only get one last name in this column) have a brain in their heads, they would both a) resign immediately; and, b) refund every dime they have been paid by the taxpayers of Nevada immediately.
Many years ago, I bought a radio station in Las Vegas and was asked to bid on the broadcasts of the UNLV football and basketball teams. I went through the state purchasing rules and complied with both making the best bid and the performance bond they demanded, and it turns out that the clown who was the AD back then only wanted our station in the bidding so he could get another station to bid. He really didn’t want to move the broadcasts, so he declared the bids invalid and re-opened the bidding. We, of course, walked with an upraised middle index finger never again to even think about doing business with UNLV.
“Sleazy would not be an inappropriate word to describe the way the UNLV athletic department does business” is exactly what I told a local sports writer and he quoted me exactly in the newspaper.
In the 20 intervening years, nothing much has changed.
UNLV is still a high school with ash trays and they still have not learned that urinating a steady stream of tax dollars into an athletic department run by desperate dilatants buys nothing but laughter from the six fans left and nothing but rage from the taxpayers who are providing the money.
Here is the latest — but hardly the first — outrage.
These morons fired a perfectly good head coach in January with a 98-54 record over 4 and a half seasons and his team was 9-7 when Ms. Murphy canned him. He was also an alumni and a reserve on the 1990 national championship team.
For the record, the team finished 18-15, which means that if Ms. Murphy hadn’t gotten her panties in a wad and made a ridicules mid-season knee jerk move, had it really been necessary to let Dave Rice go, it could have been handled with far more grace and class at the end of the season.
But noooooo. Ms. Murphy is a woman of action.
So now, the taxpayers are paying off Rice’s contract to the tune of about a million dollars.
But wait. There’s more.
They see Chris Beard, a first-year head coach at another high school with ash trays, Arkansas-Little Rock, put in a credible year and hire him to the tune of about a million a year. He signs a contract and six days later, Tubby Smith leaves Texas Tech for Memphis State – which has tried to become more of a real school by changing its name to the University of Memphis. Texas Tech calls Beard and he breaks his contract with UNLV and leaves for Texas Tech.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Is it possible that anybody thought of telling Beard that he had signed a contract and he had damn well better fulfill it?
What would he have done? Tank two seasons so he could get a better job? Gone on strike?
And you wonder why Donald Trump is probably going to be elected President.
If I had to guess, when the final tally is in, all of this will have cost the taxpayers of Nevada something north of five million dollars.
Is that really the way Brian Sandoval — the self-described education governor — wants to run a state?
I’m not sure about that, but I am sure about this:
UNLV needs a house cleaning from top to bottom. And maybe the athletic department needs a self-imposed death penalty if it can’t do any better than this.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.