No matter where his basketball travels took him during his 31 seasons in NCAA Division I college basketball, controversy has never been far behind Jerry Tarkanian. The legendary former coach of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels proved himself to be one of the greatest coaches in the game's history, however, amassing an incredible overall record of 778-202, more wins than all but a handful of other coaches. He also had 29 20-win seasons, second all-time only to fellow legend Dean Smith of North Carolina, and never experienced a losing season. His 19 seasons of amazing success and breathtaking teams in Las Vegas are the foundation of Jerry Tarkanian's revealing, heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious autobiography, Running Rebel, a book poised to reveal the skeletons in the closet of the NCAA and some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball over the past 35 years. "Tark the Shark," as fans affectionately called him, details dirty tricks and recruiting battles with people like Larry Brown and Joe B. Hall; the stories behind some of his greatest players and teams, including his 1990 national championship UNLV squad and three other Final Four qualifiers; the celebrity status and A-list friends (including Frank Sinatra) he gained while coaching in America's glitziest city; and what he really thought and believes about the iconic John Wooden and his unparalleled success at UCLA, sure to be an eye-opener for sports fans across the country. Running Rebel also tells the full story behind Tarkanian's many battles with the NCAA, often brought on by his criticism of the organization's blatant hypocrisy, his penchant for giving players he recruited a second chance, and his willingness to forgive player indiscretions when he thought it was justified. While the NCAA looked the other way at other big-name coaches and programs, Tarkanian firmly believes they overly scrutinized him as a punishment for his words about them. Despite all that, his players loved him (including the 42 who were drafted by NBA teams), the fans faithfully cheered him, and some of his achievements in college basketball may never be matched. He offers an entertaining tell-all about his spectacular career in Running Rebel.
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