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Mike Sanford: UNLV Football’s problems go far beyond him

Outgoing UNLV football coach Mike Sanford insisted he wasn’t frustrated or bitter, that he simply wanted to set the record straight for the good of the program.

But his words carried a sharp edge in his news conference today at the Lied Athletic Complex, saying numerous factors are holding back the program. Sanford never once included himself in that evaluation.

"This is not a coach issue," he said. "This is a system, infrastructure, commitment issue that I am concerned about."

Sanford, 54, was fired Sunday, a day after the Rebels lost 45-17 at Air Force. UNLV, which is off this week, is 4-7 this season and 15-43 under Sanford, who is nearing the end of his fifth season. He and his staff will coach the Nov. 28 season finale against San Diego State at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie said a search for a new coach will begin right away, but the hire will be made by the permanent AD. The search committee next meets Dec. 1.

As for Sanford, he said a number of issues held back the program from lack of community and university support to substandard facilities.

"There’s been more of a football commitment made at Reno from a facility standpoint than there has at UNLV," he said. "Our locker room is the worst locker room in college football."

He said he wanted to bring up his concerns so the program can have future success.

"If people really want to win here, if they’re going to hold the football coach and the football coaching staff here to a high standard, they need to put their money where their mouth is," Sanford said. "I don’t believe that’s ever been done here. I don’t believe it was done one bit during the time I was here."

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