Ahead of the UNLV vs. UNR football game, the Review Journal asked Rebel fans their reactions to the “Rebels in Ruins” series.
Rebels in Ruins
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One of the main problems with UNLV athletics, perhaps the central one, is the fact it either doesn’t realize or accept its place in today’s world of collegiate athletics.
With the NHL having arrived, the NFL on its way and perhaps the NBA after that, UNLV’s quest to remain relevant is only just beginning, according to athletic directors at other NCAA Group of Five schools in major league markets.
The sport that for so long was a central source of producing revenue for UNLV athletics, which afforded the department a level of national relevancy, a brand Las Vegas prided itself on, is none of those things now.
The gap between the Power Five and Group of Five conferences continues to grow. It leaves schools such as UNLV in a difficult spot.
Here’s the part often lost in the suggestion that UNLV would be better off without major college football: Such a move wouldn’t come without serious consequences.
Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State dropped football in the early 1990s because of financial considerations. UNLV, however, remains committed to the sport.
As the losses mount amid the advent of major league sports in Las Vegas, it seems the Rebels are getting closer to fading into oblivion than returning to prominence.
In a five-part series titled “Rebels in Ruins,” which begins Monday, Review-Journal sports writers Ed Graney, Ron Kantowski and Mark Anderson will analyze UNLV’s downward trajectory in the revenue sports, how expansion and television revenues have widened the gap between the Power Five and Group of Five conferences, and what, if anything, the Rebels can do to expedite a return to prominence.