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UNLV’s Max Gilliam apologizes for actions on reality TV show

Updated December 7, 2020 - 5:19 pm

UNLV quarterback Max Gilliam apologized Monday for “poor judgment” after he was shown eating sushi off a nude model on the Bravo TV reality show “Below Deck.”

Gilliam’s appearance on the show, which was featured in a story in the Review-Journal on Monday, focuses on the crew of a yacht and a rotating cast of clients who charter it. Gilliam was in a multi-episode arc of the show. His first appearance aired last month.

“I would like to apologize for my poor judgment while on the TV show ‘Below Deck’ and acknowledge that I have made a mistake that I will learn from,” Gilliam said on Twitter. “While it was not my idea, not any of my friends ideas to eat sushi off a model, I should have exercised better judgment and declined the idea immediately when it was brought up by the producers.”

A request for comment from NBC Universal, which owns Bravo and “Below Deck,” was not returned.

Gilliam, a senior, has started all five games for the Rebels, who are scheduled to close the season against Hawaii on the road at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Rebels have had two of their last three games canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the program. Hawaii (3-4) is one of two teams in the Mountain West, along with UNR, that have not had a cancellation.

UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo said Monday the team has been made aware of Gilliam’s actions on the show and is “reviewing the matter internally.”

“When we talk about what we’re building here, we mean thoroughly and completely,” Arroyo said. “Each of our players, especially our senior leadership, must recognize when we go in public, we’re representing this team, this university and the alumni and fan base. How we conduct ourselves in public is just as important as how we do on the field.”

The show, in its eighth season, was filmed in Antigua in February and March, according to local media reports.

Gilliam has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 599 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 191 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. His 71-yard scramble for a touchdown in a 40-27 loss to Fresno State was the longest play of the season for UNLV (0-5).

Arroyo said there was no disciplinary action coming to Gilliam “at this point.” If Gilliam starts Saturday night, he’ll become the first UNLV quarterback to start every game since Jon Denton in 1996. He’s likely to split time with true freshman Doug Brumfield.

Arroyo said he had been made aware of Gilliam’s apology and said it’s apparent to him the quarterback agrees with the importance of proper conduct on and off the field.

“This is not a reflection of my character or the way I was raised, nor a reflection of the culture of UNLV football,” Gilliam said. “I would like to humbly move past this and focus my time and energy on our game against the University of Hawaii this weekend.”

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2936. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.

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