Nevada regents should mind their own business in dealing with Marvin Menzies contract

It was a tweet in what had become a deluge of nasty and at times vulgar and yet also informative and thoughtful ones that spread across the Internet regarding UNLV basketball the past 48 hours.

It stated, simply, that forward Dwayne Morgan was impressed enough with newly hired coach Marvin Menzies to reconsider transferring from the program.

A jolt of positive news for a team badly in need of about 10,000 more.

The coaching search that would seemingly never end has with Menzies departing New Mexico State after nine seasons as coach and landing with the Rebels, a place he assisted Lon Kruger in 2004-05. He replaces Chris Beard, who accepted the job for about five minutes before bolting to Texas Tech.

Beard replaced interim coach Todd Simon.

Simon replaced fired coach Dave Rice.

It all occurred from Jan. 7 to now.

There is a screenplay in there somewhere, because Hollywood never can get enough implausible tales.

The last hurdle to scale before putting this drawn-out nonsense to bed and allowing Menzies and whoever will make up his coaching staff to recruit and build a roster from nothing will be approval of the contract from the University of Nevada Board of Regents.

This is the group we saw take more than two hours to approve Beard’s deal.

Two. Hours.

This time: If it takes more than 10 minutes to approve Menzies as coach past public comments, all 13 regents as elected officials should be reassigned as sign-flippers on local corners while wearing parkas during the summer months.

Rick Trachok, chairman of the regents, put it best near the end of Beard’s ordeal: It is not the job of a regent to select or hire a coach, but rather to approve the terms of a proposed contract.

That’s it.

That’s all.

You are not, as a regent, an athletic director or president. Your job is not to identify basketball coaches by trolling Twitter or talking with your buddies or believing you know who would be a better hire more than those put in charge of hiring.

That’s not why you were elected. That’s not on your to-do list, even though whispers grew Saturday that a few regents might be thinking of trying to muddle up the situation.

“That’s nuts,” said an upset Michael Wixom, vice chairman of the regents. “And you can quote me on that.”

Trachok also was said to be more than upset that any regent would try to move past their specific roles, and given Menzies’ contract was purposefully written to adhere to the template now in place and the fact he will make less than what would have been paid Beard, any attempt to disrupt the process would specifically point to regents wrongly overstepping their boundaries and going rogue by not doing their job as stated.

It’s not about the name of the coach, whether it be Menzies or Lavin or Karl or Beard or Cronin. The name doesn’t matter.

It’s about doing your job as a regent and not reacting to Twitter and other outlets with threats that your position doesn’t give you the right to make.

Things are toxic right now. People are incredibly upset at how the process played out. Menzies is walking into an extremely difficult situation, none of which is his doing or fault, but the engaging personality that has made him one of the nation’s best recruiters will be tested immediately.

I received a few emails regarding my Saturday column, in which I pointed out Menzies now becomes the first permanent black head coach for UNLV men’s basketball.

Did you know who the best person was for the job? Rick Pitino. Do you know what else? UNLV was never getting the Louisville coach. It was a delusional hope from the beginning.

They couldn’t afford him, and he was never getting on a plane.

Who the best choice was after him will undoubtedly spur all sorts of opinions across the list of candidates. It’s like trying to gain the Republican presidential nomination right now. No one would win a majority vote.

But sports, like many things, should be put in a historical context, and Menzies’ race and the job he now has is significant in that way. It’s a first, and firsts in sports are almost always documented.

This is whom UNLV hired. Some will support it, some won’t, some will wait and see, some wanted other names.

But no one, not even those Twitter geniuses who can’t make a point without the crutch of profanity, can aptly predict the future. Time will dictate how the Menzies era plays out, and only time.

This is what we do know: An agreement has been reached between UNLV and its new coach, and a contract is about to be presented to 13 regents.

And if they do their job and not anything foolish like step beyond their boundaries because they want to look cool and play Basketball Guy for a day, this drawn-out nonsense finally will be put to bed and a coach and his staff can begin working to rebuild a team in need of 10,000 more jolts of positive news.

How it should be.

How the process demands it to be.

Ed Graney can be reached at or 702-383-4618. He can be a heard on “Seat and Ed” on Fox Sports 1340 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Twitter: @edgraney.

News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like