So the 2011 NFL Draft first round is over and the excitement was on an all time high. With the Lockout and litigation talk keeping the greatest sports league in our mind and on our tounges daily, we watched the hopes and dreams of the next wave of young men take the biggest step of their football career.
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On April 11, 2011 at 4:00pm former Runnin’ Rebel player and Assistant Coach for UNLV and BYU Dave Rice was announced as the new Head Coach of UNLV replacing Lon Kruger.  It was an exciting day for the older Rebel faithful as well as the new Scarlet and Grey bloods in the Board Room at the Thomas and Mack Center.

Athletic Director Jim Livengood announced Rice as the “right fit at the right time, having an outstanding resume, excellent leadership abilities and passion both on and off the court.”

All local media was well represented as well as the Board of Regents, President Neal Smatresk, Coach Jerry Tarkanian, Brad Rothermel, all athletic department personnel, current as well as ex-players, ex-politicians, and a bevy of Rebel supporters from around the city.

Dave Rice said “it is a great day for UNLV, it’s family and that it’s all about the Runnin’ Rebels and not about myself.”  He stressed many times his appreciation for Tarkanian and all he learned from him as a player on two Final Four teams in 1990 and 1991, National Championship team in 1990, as well as his tutledge as an assistant when Tark approached him after graduation and told him, “I think you can become a great coach some day.”

Coach Rice quickly mentioned that Justin Hutson, assistant coach from San Diego St., has already been signed to a contract and was the one of the best recruiters in the Southern California areas.  He also served as the great defensive mind of the top 10 ranked Aztecs this year limiting opponents to 58.6 points per game and 39 percent shooting.

Also on his list of potential staff members is former UNLV great and current Denver Nuggets assistant Stacey Augmon.  He was called immediately but had a major concern of how soon he would have to be in Las Vegas as he wanted to stay with his team as they gear up for the NBA playoffs.

In his moderate in length yet humble speech Rice commented on his reasons for coaching instead of following the path of his master’s of business administration degree that he earned and he mentioned that he “loves the competition, but mainly I love the impact I can have in the young men’s lives as my coaches had in me.”

He felt that it was very key to build a strong, trusting relationship with the players now, that they are a great group of kids that have a ton of hard work ethics and effort and was very appreciative that they showed for the press conference.

Rice also expressed a deep need to “build upon the tradition that Coach Kruger had left behind” and then answered the question that thousands of Rebel fans alike have been asking: What will be the style of play?

His response: “We’re going to get out and run–everything will be up tempo.  It will be Runnin’ Rebel basketball.  We will defend as hard as we can on one end, then push as fast as we can to the other. But most importantly we want to be consistent.”

Again he modestly thanked the coaches he had been under at UNLV and that he was “humbled by all the people in the room and am very excited to be back at UNLV and in Las Vegas.”

Dave brings with him to Las Vegas his wife Mindy who graduated from UNLV and their two sons, Travis, 13 and Dylan, 8.

He closed his first oration as a head coach in Division I men’s basketball by stating that “it is our program, not mine, I am just a caretaker and honored to be a part of Runnin’ Rebel Basketball again.”

Afterwards he was asked a few “softball” type questions by the media then convened for some one-on-one interviews and an even larger fan-appreciation event held next door at the Cox Pavillion where around 300+ UNLV fans were introduced to their new head coach.

I personally feel that Dave Rice has an excellent chance to succeed here and brings a lot of game knowledge, experience, and zeal to a program that has been left full and ripe by the previous coach Lon Kruger.  There will not be much of a honeymoon period for Dave as this program has been in the Top 30 nationally for the last five to six years and returns a plethora of starters, talent and incumbent recruits.

The staff that he assembles will be critical to his prosperity and Rice has already taken a huge step in that direction with his first hire and those already contacted.

His temperament for bringing back the life-blood and roots of the very foundation that built this school into a national basketball powerhouse with the amoeba defense and fast break offense will not only excite the players and fans for years to come, but recreate the Runnin’ Rebels of lore and vault them to a higher level of distinction.

According to numerous local sources here in Las Vegas, Ryan Green, Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas Sun, and CBS Sports Dave Rice has agreed to be the next head coach of the Men’s Basketball team at UNLV.

The race came down to two names, Rice being one and the other top candidate Reggie Theus. Theus played for the Rebels in the mid-70′s while Rice was a backup player on the 1990 Championship team.

Both were excellent choices for the job with plenty of coaching experience themselves, though Rice has yet to hold the official title of head coach. He has spent the last 18 years on college coaching staffs at UNLV and BYU and during Dave Rose’ recent illness in Utah, Rice served in the head coaching capacity.

The best question to be asked now: Will he be able to assemble a high quality staff of coaches to take this program to the next level? The likes of Stacey Augmon, Justin Hutson, Larry Johnson all can add great experience, leadership and recruiting ability.

Though Jerry Tarkanian was stronger proponent for Theus he recently stated about Rice that “He’s a really sharp guy and a good person.”

Quoted by Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The potential candidate pool included several high-profile names, including former Rebels great Larry Johnson and coaching legends Larry Brown and Bob Knight.

Rice and Theus were always considered the front-runners, though St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap and former Oregon coach Ernie Kent also made Livengood’s list of four finalists.

“Jim has played it real, real close to the vest,” Rothermel said. “Everything else being equal, and it is, you should take somebody who has strong UNLV ties.

“I know David very well, and he’ll do as good a job as those of us who support him help him do. We have to get resources for him so he can recruit and do the things he needs to do to win.”

For more on this you can check out these local Las Vegas Media outlets:

Las Vegas Review Journal

Las Vegas Sun

The Billions of dollars pouring into Collegiate Athletics has changed the face of sports forever. The rules that govern the Universities, athletes, coaches, media, boosters, fans and all other entities are antiquated. The organization that controls all these parts, with a tyrannical hand, needs to be disbanded.

In the Bible, the book of Revelation describes a “harlot riding a wild colored beast” and commits fornication with the “kings of the earth and the traveling merchants of the earth who became rich due to the power of her shameless luxury.”

Sound familiar?

College sports bring in an estimated $4 billion dollars annually, coaches get paid in the millions, sponsors PAY in the millions. Universities rake in the cash as well as the Head of everything, the NCAA. Who by the way gets $10billion for just college basketball.



The players see none of it.

Not now, not later, not while they’re playing, not after. While the NCAA continues to sell game footage to advertisers and commercials are filled with these “amateur” athletes,–video games are filled with the “likenesses” of these kids, now and from 20+ years ago–yet still never see a dime of it.

Meanwhile, BCS Bowl CEOs make $650,000+ for ONE GAME! The money funneled into these Bowls is being spent on assistants weddings, strip clubs, destination golfing trips and political fund raising events.

Coaches are covering up illegal activities by their players when they full well know that these star athletes would be suspended for the season, hence ending a run for a BCS Title game and costing the team $16 million+ for that one game.

Poor kids raised in bad neighborhoods are being handed money in “money shakes” by the hundreds and bags full of money by the thousands. Yet how can you blame them? They can use any dollar they can get and are now being handed way more than they could dream of. Selling used equipment, memorabilia just to earn a few dollars for themselves or family members. Including the whoring out of young women to these men to bring them to their schools.

Please don’t tell me about how they get a free education either, they don’t want it! They are there for one thing and one thing only, to play their sport and achieve a professional status. College is the perfect farm system and training program for the NBA and NFL–are funded by commercialism and advertising–and everyone at the programs make millions except the MAIN employees; the players.

How can you blame these kids for taking the handouts? They are poor and needy. It’s not even greed on their part. Their just getting chump change from the people handing it to them.

All this stems from the flaws of the rules, regulations and the organization that makes them and enforces them. And the enforcement of these rules is suspect at best by not punishing the transgressors evenly and equally.  The hypocrisy abounds.  It needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

The rules are broke, the system defunct, and big time schools and universities are going to get tired of being punished for breaking these rules and continuously punishing their staff and students for doing certain things that are just a normal part of life: being compensated for the work you do.

The NCAA turns a blind eye to some, and comes down with an iron fist on others. Inadequacies and inconsistencies are rampant.

When does the time come where the institutions being governed say “enough is enough?” Why should we continue to ruled by this Fascist regime with unlimited power and wealth yet takes zero responsibility for the corruption it empowers?

Oh sure in light of all these new allegations the NCAA and president Mark Emmert will run around and levy heavy fines, sanctions and suspensions upon most implicated. Just like the Queen of Hearts yelling “Off with their head, Off with their head.” What happened to that Queen again?

What usually happens to every dictator that spends it’s time and efforts suppressing, crushing and punishing all of its subjects? Eventual anarchy.

Yes the NCAA will contest that they are no part of the cheating and illegal activities–by their laws and guidelines–and distance themselves from the perpetrators stating they are “policing” these ones. Yet as the money grows so does the correlation with law-breaking, all this is happening under their watch.

When a specific company is found to be involved in illegal activities or scandals, who is the main one to fall? The head of that company. When a team fails to perform and live up to higher standards who get the axe? The coach or even higher, the general managers.

Yes as the issues and problems escalate to untold heights each and every year, it’s all happening under the watch-care of the NCAA.

Will it take the U.S. Government to intervene and uproot this dysfunctional committee? Its been done before with major corporations, but usually when illegal activities are have been brought before the Federal Court.

Most likely though it will be time for the educational institutions to band together and retake control of their own destinies and dissolve the worthlessness of the NCAA. To create new laws and regulations that allow student-athletes to be compensated based upon their performance–during their tenure at school and after.

“The traveling merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of [their] fear of her torment and will weep and mourn saying, ‘Too bad, too bad–the great city richly adorned with gold and scarlet…because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!”

The Bulldogs from Indiana have had a very solid history in NCAA college basketball.  Some high notes, some low.  Like the loss against Florida in 2000 at the buzzer by Mike Miller.

But now we have entered a new era, the Brad Stevens regime. 

He has elevated this program to an elite status only rivaled by the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Duke, UNLV, Florida and a small handful of others.

Going to back-to-back Final Fours is extremely difficult for any school or program and is usually done by only top national programs that recruit the BEST players in the country.  Then they are usually kids that stay around for their senior year.

Enter Brad Stevens taking the Butler Bulldogs back to the Final Four. 

Yes last year they lost by two to Duke in the National Title game.  Yes they lost their best player to the NBA.  Yes this team struggled during the middle of the season and looked like they were a one hit wonder.

But the young, jepoardy-looking “I’ll take Hoosier History for $400, Alex” Stevens has done the seemingly impossible.  Taking a mid-major school, mostly mid-level talent, and elevated them to the highest stages of college basketball.

Yes there are many great coaches that have done amazing things during specific times.  But they generally always come from the Big 6 conferences and/or are whisked away the next season by the big boys.

Not Stevens.  He has put his name in the hat with the likes of Calhoun, Coach K, Izzo, Calipari and others of our time.  With LESS talent!  The questions remain how long he can be this successful and where he continues his quest for championships.

But at this school, with these kids, Brad Stevens has done the greatest coaching job in two years ever, in the history of NCAA men’s college basketball.