Just a few quick notes as we head into December. Hope you enjoy the update:
UNLV Athletics is the Front Porch
Obviously, I love sports. But those of us who work in UNLV Intercollegiate Athletics understand we represent something much more - we represent higher education. We represent the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ... Our 486 student-athletes are students first. In fact, in 2009-10, 143 of our student-athletes received no financial support to attend UNLV, compared to just 127 of our student-athletes who were on a full scholarship. (Less than 28% of our student-athletes received a full scholarship.) ... At this time, our athletics department is 75% self-funded. Usually, when I share that number it is higher than people anticipate. That is not to say we will not improve it, but it is our starting point ... In addition, we play a great role financially for the institution as the University's most loyal customer. In a typical year, the UNLV Athletics Department returns $3.5 million per year to the University budget in payments for tuition and fees, room and board and a variety of campus services. In addition, our student-athletes can pay approximately $5.1 million more to the University for expenses not otherwise paid by scholarship ... We take pride in our Rebels for their athletic achievements. But more importantly, we take pride in being a part of this great University, which is becoming more and more important to this community on almost a daily basis. We take seriously our role as the front porch to UNLV for the community.
No Television for Nevada, Reno basketball game
I want to thank Nevada, Reno athletics director Cary Groth for working with us on trying to get this Saturday's men's basketball game between our two schools televised. I understand - for many different reasons - televising some of our games from Reno has been an issue in the past. Unfortunately, because there is December commencement in the Lawlor Events Center three hours before our game that night, there is no game broadcast at all for logistical reasons. Had the feed existed, working through Cary, we would have been able to pick up that feed and shown it in our local market. Cary agrees this is a game that needs to be televised in our markets in upcoming years. She has been great to work with and we look forward to working with her and her team as the Wolf Pack joins the Mountain West ... Fans, please know we understand the importance of these games. Our fans must have the opportunity to see them. This is a pre-existing issue with different partners we are aggressively addressing. We just want you to know we are listening, we care and we agree.
While the football season comes to an end this Saturday as we play at Hawaii, coach Bobby Hauck and his staff are busy preparing for two of the most crucial months of the year - the winter recruiting period ... Coach Hauck is high on the talent they have their eyes on and he knows the importance of recruiting to help change the culture of our football program. Last year's recruiting class - featuring exciting players like Tim Cornett and Mike Sullivan - is going to pay a lot of dividends in the future. The foundation is being laid.
Fast start for Runnin' Rebels
Runnin' Rebel basketball sure has had a fun start to the season, hasn't it? I've seen a lot of basketball in my time and this is a fun and deep team to watch. They really get after it defensively, particularly this early in the season ... Of course it's great to be nationally ranked in any sport. That's really something for the fans and community to rally around. However, the best part about the recent wins over Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Murray State and Tulsa is how those wins will look in March. Those are some good basketball teams who will put up a lot of wins throughout the year.
Mountain West Update
TCU leaving the conference is not a positive thing. I won't try to sugar-coat that. However, now we must look at the opportunities that we are presented with as the new Mountain West Conference takes shape. Boise State, Nevada, Reno and Fresno State are really good additions to this conference. We also have other opportunities - such as enhanced exposure opportunities - that we must explore as a conference. With all of the movement nationally, now is the time to redefine the Mountain West - and UNLV Athletics - for the future. It's messy right now (no doubt about that) but we are adamant about the future of your athletic department. Great days lie ahead for your Rebels.
Rebels vs. Wolf Pack
We've made it no secret that one of our measuring sticks for competitive success is how our programs compete against Nevada, Reno. Rivalries should be healthy - particularly in-state rivalries. Games against the Wolf Pack should be something special to our student-athletes and coaches. It definitely means a lot to our fans and that's good for Rebel Athletics. And with the Wolf Pack joining us in our conference in the near future, it will only strengthen the rivalry ... So far this season, we are 2-1 head-to-head against Nevada, Reno with wins in women's basketball and volleyball.
National Finals Rodeo
It's early December so it must be rodeo time at the Thomas & Mack Center. The NFR is a staple in the landscape of Las Vegas entertainment and for us at UNLV Athletics. This is our premier special event that we host ... It's also a special time of the year for the city. Be a part of the NFR Experience throughout the next 10 days. You don't have to have a ticket to be a part of it. Visit www.NFRExperience.com to learn more.
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
We'll be finding out very soon who Utah will be meeting in this year's annual Maaco Bowl Las Vegas on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Sounds as if it will be either Boise State or Nevada, Reno. Either one of those would be an exciting match-up. There is nothing like a college bowl game! Visit www.maacobowllv.com or call (702) 732-3912 ... Remember, when you attend special events at the facilities of UNLV Athletics, you are supporting our student-athletes.
Holiday season shopping
Want to support UNLV Athletics? It's easy. Give UNLV gear this holiday season to everyone on your list. Help others get their Reb On! Remember, UNLV Athletics is the presenting sponsor of the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season.
Meet Terry Cottle
Senior Associate Athletics Director Terry Cottle is in his 27th year with UNLV. He serves as the day-to-day administrator for the UNLV football program. A former Rebel football recruiting coordinator and assistant coach, Cottle spent 10 years with the football program before moving into an administrative capacity in 1994. He has been involved with various community organizations during this career, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada ... A four-year starter at quarterback at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., Cottle earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1980 before receiving his master's degree in education from UNLV in 1985. Terry and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Jessica, Ashley, Carly and Jason.
Thank you for your continued support of UNLV Athletics. Get Your Reb On and make it a GREAT Rebel day!
Director of Athletics