Being intelligent doesn’t necessarily mean the lights are on when politicians begin to float ideas to their closest friends or to their constituents.
It appears that some members of our illustrious Nevada Board of Regents spent too much time earlier this month (perhaps in the Black Rock playa with the burners) doing too much thinking.
The University of Nevada joined the Mountain West Conference in 2012, while the University of Nevada Las Vegas has been a member for 15 years. Las Vegas Regent James Levitt, who proves he is on top of the athletic programs as anyone in the state, wants Nevada and UNLV’s programs to look at a more competitive league … such as the Pac-12.
If he thought UNLV could win a football game in the Pac-12 or for the Runnin’ Rebels to finish higher than the middle of the pack, he is delusional.
Since the Wolf Pack became a member, both teams haven’t ripped up the MWC standings in any sports except last year’s Wolf Pack baseball team. Come to think of it, the MWC has made UNLV a perennial whipping boy (and girl, Title IX) with its athletic teams.
Back to Levitt. He asked UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzler-Murphy, “Why do we shy away from it? Why is it a dirty little secret?”
Nothing secret about it. For one, the two Nevada teams are underfunded to be competitive, and what makes you or any other regent so cocky to think Nevada teams can compete in the Pac-12 in all sports? Don’t use football and basketball as the only barometers of potential success, which is stretching your logic like a cranial rubber band.
Furthermore, this regent would rather explore a future move such as to the Pac-12 rather than finding a solution to save — heaven forbid for a Vegas regent — the Western Nevada College baseball and softball teams, which will be extinct after their spring season.
Regent Levitt … before we look at the Pac-12, let’s make Nevada teams more appetizing to the rest of the MWC. Both Nevada and UNLV suffered huge football losses last weekend, and against a nationally-ranked team, the Wolf Pack could not fill Mackay Stadium.
Hopefully, the Nevada basketball teams may show a little more hunger on the court this season, but they can’t compete week after week in the Pac-12.
Having a law degree doesn’t guarantee common sense. Another regent, Jason Geddes, said the board would like to take a look at what is realistic.
Let’s wait a few years, gentlemen. Let’s see how the teams do for the next several seasons, and if their prowess tames the MWC then look at it. For now, though, don’t waste yours or our time on a pipe dream.
LVN editorials written by the LVN editorial board appear on Wednesdays.