Get Your Reb On

Hello Rebels Fans,


What a beautiful week it's been in Las Vegas as our students returned to class on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We hope you enjoy this brief update about UNLV Athletics & Entertainment: 

New semester begins

Like many others, I get busy watching scoreboards and following recruiting. However, days like this past Tuesday always take me back to why we truly work in college athletics. Our nearly 500 student-athletes returned to class earlier this week as the Spring 2011 semester started. There is something special about the newness of a brand new semester - a new beginning. It's a great reminder that we strive to grow our student-athletes academically, socially and athletically. Wins and losses are extremely important to us - let's not kid ourselves - but that is not the sole reason we do what we do. To all of our student-athletes, good luck this semester. Make us proud.

UNLV continues to gain support

According to UNLV President Neal Smatresk, over 1,000 volunteers have expressed their support of the University and will be communicating with legislators this legislative session. It's been great to see so many people in this community step up for higher education and understand the future of our community is right here at UNLV.

UNLV Athletics funding

Many people have been asking what potential cuts will do for UNLV Athletics. Will it have a negative impact? Absolutely. That is why we are working so hard to redefine ourselves as an organization. Currently, about 25% of our budget comes from state funds while the rest comes from different revenues we generate. In some ways, that is good news as it is just a quarter of our budget. That said, our goal is to get UNLV Athletics & Entertainment into the black without any state funds. Very few athletic departments nationally have been able to do this, but it can be done. It won't happen here immediately, but it is our goal. It must be our goal.

Rebel Athletic Fund renewals - Due date is May 20

Please be on the lookout for your Rebel Athletic Fund (RAF) renewals to be sent out in early March (as well as football season ticket renewals). Due date for RAF renewals for the 2011-12 sports seasons will be May 20, 2011 - to be either paid in full or to have begun a payment plan ... We have had a major increase in the number of requests to upgrade ticket locations at basketball games so the May 20 deadline will be crucial. You'll be hearing much more about the May 20 RAF deadline in the near future.

Runnin' Rebel Kids' Day this Saturday

This Saturday will be our annual Kids' Day at a Runnin' Rebel game when our men's basketball team takes on New Mexico at 1 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. Kids' balcony tickets are just $5, if purchased in advanced ($7 on the day of the game). A kids' festival will be held at the Cox Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to the game (free with a game ticket) ... It's a great opportunity to spend some time with young ones in your life. Parental involvement in the lives of young people is a big focus for us at UNLV Athletics ... and you will be seeing more of that in the future ... And, don't forget, children 12-and-under are always free to all UNLV sporting events, except men's basketball and football games. It's a great way to spend quality time with kids.

UNLV Alumni Association Pregame Event - Saturday

The UNLV Alumni Association will hold a pregame event Saturday (Jan. 22) from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tam Alumni Center prior to the 1 p.m. Runnin' Rebel game vs. New Mexico. New UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers is scheduled to be the special guest. Brunch will be served. The event is free to UNLV Alumni members and kids 12 and under. It is just $5 for everyone else. We appreciate the great support of Jim Ratigan, Matt Engle and the rest of the Alumni Association team, board and members. Go Rebels!

Youth Reading, Youth Health & Physical Fitness and Parental Involvement

UNLV Athletics & Entertainment is dedicated to being "Southern Nevada's leading community partner." We value the unique assets we have - our coaches and student-athletes - as well as the unique platform athletics gives us. In an effort to best serve the community, we have identified three core areas will are going to concentrate our community outreach efforts in. We believe by partnering with the right people and the right organizations in these areas, we will have a major impact on the long-term quality of life for many, many people in Southern Nevada.

  • Youth Reading - We want to focus on helping valley students to be reading by grade level (particularly by the third grade). If a child is not reading at a third grade level by the time he/she has completed third grade, the academic future for that child is rarely a positive one.

  • Youth Health & Physical Fitness - This is a no-brainer for us. We understand our student-athletes are role models and should represent healthy living. Child obesity is a major concern for this nation and education about eating habits as well as daily physical activity is the key to battling this.
  • Parental Involvement - Show me an involved parent and I will show you a child that has a great chance for success. We want to be a leader in the community in encouraging parents to spend quality time with their children.

We are here to help serve Southern Nevada - particularly the children in this community. We look forward to some amazing community outreach partnerships (with the right service providers) that will have a major impact on this community. 

Football recruiting update

Coach Bobby Hauck and his staff are busy wrapping up their second football recruiting class here at UNLV. National signing day is Feb. 2. As we saw last year, we have some young playmakers on offense and some very promising young players in the defensive backfield. However, Bobby will be the first one to tell you that football is won upfront. The key to changing the culture of a football program is getting promising young guys on both the offensive and defensive lines into your program and growing them in your system. They have to get bigger and stronger. There is a huge difference between 18 and 19-year-olds going up against 21 and 22-year-olds at the line of scrimmage. This has been the focus of the staff and they are feeling good about the way things are going.

RebelTV on Cox Channel 636

If you get a chance, check out RebelTV on Cox Channel 636. We just did a soft launch of the brand new channel, which features a unique look at UNLV Athletics & Entertainment. Nearly all of the content is produced by UNLV students as well as members of our staff. Like anything, the product will improve over time, but we think it is a fun start to give UNLV fans a different view into the lives of our student-athletes. It also gives some of our students the chance to learn more about broadcasting and production ... A special thank you to Steve Schorr and all involved at Cox Communications for making RebelTV possible. The content on the channel is scheduled to be updated about 2-3 times per month. We hope you enjoy watching RebelTV grow and finding out more about our programs and special events.

Rebels from Las Vegas

Speaking of RebelTV, an interview with former Runnin' Rebel and current CBS Sports broadcaster Greg Anthony is scheduled to appear on RebelTV in the next couple of weeks. It's a unique conversation with Greg talking about what it's like to stay home in Las Vegas (Greg graduated from Rancho High School) and play for the Rebels. We think you will enjoy what he has to say ... Along those lines, The Mtn.'s pregame feature this past Saturday was on sophomore Runnin' Rebel Anthony Marshall, who also grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from Mojave High School. If you did not get a chance to see the piece on Saturday, click here to watch it. It talks about the importance of local players for the Runnin' Rebels.

Recruiting in our own backyard - Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada - is important to us. Tim Chambers in baseball and Bobby Hauck in football enjoyed early success with local talent. However, we must - both as a department and as a community - position UNLV as the "first choice" for our homegrown talent. We can't be just a choice. Just because we offer scholarships to our top local student-athletes does not guarantee they will stay here. We need to change that. We need to make the experience so great for our student-athletes at UNLV that they don't want to go anywhere else.

Rugby returns to Sam Boyd Stadium Feb. 12-13

For the second consecutive year, UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium will host the USA Sevens Rugby competition featuring some of the top rugby teams in the world (Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 12 & 13). Many people are not aware that rugby led to the birth of American football in the early part of the 20th century. It's an amazing spectator sport and, if you love football, you'll really enjoy rugby. Check out this video to learn more about the rules of rugby and notice all of the similarities with football. We hope you will join us out at the USA Sevens event which is on its way to being the premier rugby event in the nation. Tickets are available at

Some more Rebel tidbits

We're really high on what new women's volleyball coach Cindy Fredrick can do with our program ... Khadevis Robinson, a 2004 Olympian, has joined our women's track and field program as an assistant coach. I have been doing this for many years and I am still awed by Olympians ... Cody Roberts from our men's swimming team was named the Mountain West Conference's swimmer of the week. He and his teammates are ranked in the Top 20 nationally.

As always, thank you for all you do to support our student-athletes. Make sure to Get Your Reb On and have a GREAT Rebel day.


Jim Livengood

Jim Livengood
Director of Athletics

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