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Social media chatter ties UNLV’s Chris Beard to Texas Tech

Twitter was abuzz Wednesday with speculation that new UNLV basketball coach Chris Beard’s stay in Las Vegas could be a short one.

Fans have played connect the dots since news broke that Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith could be headed to Memphis.

Which, of course, would create an opening at Texas Tech, where Beard was an assistant coach for 10 seasons beginning in 2002. His three daughters also live in Texas.

• Much Twitter speculation has focused on whether Beard has a 30-day window in his contract with UNLV to walk away without penalty. He doesn’t.

• Other speculation centered on whether he had signed the contract. He had, and the approval by the University of Nevada Board of Regents on Friday made it official and binding.

• Should Texas Tech be interested in hiring Beard, by contract UNLV would be owed a $1 million buyout.

If Smith leaves for Memphis, Texas Tech would have to act quickly because the spring signing period began Wednesday, and Beard has been out recruiting for the Rebels. So UNLV fans would know probably within 24 hours whether there is something to the story or if it’s just Internet chatter.

• One TV report in Lubbock on Thursday said he was in Lubbock, a report so widely circulated that it was picked up by some of the biggest papers in Texas. However, multiple Review-Journal sources confirmed he was at Mendenhall Center on Thursday morning working with players.

Smith signed a six-year contract in 2013 with the Red Raiders that pays $1.8 million annually, according to ESPN.com. Beard’s five-year deal pays a minimum of $900,000 next season, but rises to at least $1.4 million by the fourth year.

Attempts to reach Beard were unsuccessful as of early Wednesday evening.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow on Twitter: @markanderson65

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