UNLV’s athletic department has agreed to a 10-year, $57 million deal with Learfield Communications, a multimedia giant with a national footprint.
The new deal is worth $25 million more than UNLV’s previous deal with IMG College. The university signed a 10-year contract in 2007 with International Sports Properties, and IMG bought that company three years later.
The contract with Learfield has a $45 million guarantee.
Learfield will oversee UNLV’s TV and radio broadcasts, coaches’ shows, digital platform and other similar areas through the 2026-27 academic year.
The Plano, Texas-based company has similar agreements with eight other Mountain West schools as well as rights deals with almost 130 universities, conferences and arenas.
“We look forward to this partnership,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “Learfield is a nationally recognized leader in multimedia rights and understands the memorable fan experience we are trying to provide to our UNLV community.
“Learfield’s strong reputation for hard work, creativity and attention to detail is in alignment with the culture we are building within the athletics department. We continually look for ways to grow revenue in supporting our student-athletes and championship expectations, and we appreciate Learfield’s commitment to that responsibility.”
Busy recruiting month
This is typically a slow time for football coaches compared to the rest of the calendar, but UNLV has nabbed four commitments this month.
That includes 6-foot 3-inch, 200-pound quarterback Griffin O’Connor from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California. UNLV also added wide receiver Patrick Ballard (6-3, 190) from Fort Bend Elkins High in Missouri City, Texas, as well as two players from Chandler (Arizona) High — defensive tackle Chris Manoa (6-0, 300) and cornerback Bryce Jackson (5-10, 180).
Those players join Stacy Conner (6-5, 190), a quarterback from Wylie (Texas) High who committed in April.
Scout.com lists three of those five players as three-star recruits.
Baxter, a four-star recruit, played one season for the Rebels. He averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds.
No decision has been made on the future of forward Dwayne Morgan, who was arrested in May on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Coach Marvin Menzies has said he is more interested in helping Morgan off the court than his basketball career.
If Morgan returns, the Rebels will be one player over their 13-man scholarship limit.
UNLV’s nonconference basketball schedule is expected to come out in the next couple of weeks. The schedule is pretty much in place, but contracts are being finalized for at least two games.
The Rebels’ most notable nonconference games are at Northern Iowa on Nov. 29 as part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge, against Arizona at home on Dec. 2 and against Illinois at home on Dec. 9. UNLV also will play in the MGM Grand Main Event, facing Rice on Nov. 20 and Utah or Mississippi on Nov. 22.
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