Nevada-Las Vegas in the NCAA tournament? Jerry Tarkanian back for another season as coach?
In the troubled, topsy-turvy world of UNLV basketball, where lawyers have become major players and courts have a double meaning, nothing is impossible.
One lawyer says Tarkanian may withdraw the resignation he submitted last June after three of his former players were pictured with convicted sports fixer Richard Perry.
Another says UNLV players voted 8-2 to challenge an NCAA ruling banning this year's club from postseason play. The ban, agreed to by the school last year, was supposed to be the final resolution in a 14-year-battle between the NCAA and Tarkanian.
As for Tarkanian remaining as the Runnin' Rebels' coach, UNLV president Robert Maxson says:
"Coach Tarkanian submitted his resignation, the university accepted that resignation, and the matter is closed," Maxson said yesterday. "There is no need for any additional discussion."
Lawyer Alan Jones revealed he had sent UNLV administrators a letter charging them with breaching Tarkanian's resignation agreement.That scenario could open the door for Tarkanian to fight to keep the job he is scheduled to leave when the season ends March 3.
Tarkanian says he isn't sure he's up to yet another fight.
"That option has been there for a long time for me," Tarkanian said. "People have been trying for the last two months to get me to do so. I just haven't made any decision.
UNLV's players, meanwhile, voted 8-2 Wednesday to file suit in an effort to get into the NCAA postseason tournament.
Tarkanian said the vote, taken by Las Vegas attorney Steve Stein, was not final and that a decision would be made by today. Tarkanian said that even if the Rebels made the tournament, he would not coach in it.
"I've already said I'd stay out if they did go," said Tarkanian, whose No. 12 team is 23-2 and riding a 20-game winning streak.
* OKLAHOMA STATE: Coach Eddie Sutton was in good condition yesterday at a Tulsa hospital after suffering chest pains Wednesday night.
"We found a small problem in one of the arteries, but it is something that can be treated with medicine," Dr. David Brewer said in a release issued by the university's sports in
formation department. "Coach Sutton is fine, comfortable and does not have any pain. He will be back on his feet and back in normal activities very soon."
Oklahoma State, which dropped from second to eighth in the rankings on Monday, lost to Oklahoma, 70-67, in Stillwater, hours before Sutton was taken to the hospital.
The loss was the third in a row for the Cowboys and the fourth in the past five games after a 20-0 start.
Strauss said Sutton, 55, complained of chest pains after he had finished his post-game radio show.
* The Maryland Junior College Conference women's championship tournament begins today with four games at Catonsville Community College, starting at 3 p.m. Top-seeded Allegany opens the program against Harford. The other pairings are Catonsville-Hagerstown, Anne Arundel-Frederick and Essex-NCC Baltimore. The semifinals will be tomorrow afternoon, beginning at 1, with the championship game Sunday at 2 p.m.