Tarkanian a Rebel Ahead of His Time

Tarkanian a Rebel Ahead of His Time

It is a Monday afternoon, and one of the most controversial figures in college basketball history sits quietly at the end of a rectangular table at Landry’s, a seafood restaurant on West Sahara Avenue that is, both physically and metaphorically, a long, long way from the glitz and glitter of the Strip.

The man’s silence is jarring. All around him people are talking about the glory days of Nevada-Las Vegas basketball, but the man, Jerry Tarkanian — the Shark, the coach who won more than 700 games, earned a national championship and went to four Final Fours, all while fighting the N.C.A.A. and chomping wet towels on the sideline — stays mum.

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