THE SIDELINES : Rebels Appeal NCAA Play Ban

From Times Wire Services

UNLV has filed an appeal seeking to overturn an NCAA ban that would prevent the Runnin' Rebels from defending their national basketball championship.

The appeal was prepared over the last two weeks after the NCAA ruled July 20 that the Rebels could not compete in postseason play next year. The penalty was an outgrowth of a case involving UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian and the NCAA dating back to 1977.

UNLV appealed the penalty on the grounds it is a case of double jeopardy, since the university already served two years probation in the case, from 1977 to 1979. The NCAA placed UNLV on probation for two years and ordered Tarkanian suspended for two years in 1977 for a series of violations. The university served the probation but Tarkanian obtained a court injunction preventing his suspension and continued coaching, compiling the best record, percentage-wise, among active college coaches.

In a related matter, Big West Conference athletic directors, meeting in Los Angeles, delayed taking action that would prevent the Rebels from playing in the conference postseason basketball tournament next year. Conference officials say they want to await the outcome of UNLV's appeal before making a decision.

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