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Runnin' Rebel: Shark Tales of "Extra Benefits", Frank Sinatra and Winning It All Paperback – October 27, 2006
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About the Author
Dan Wetzel is a national sports columnist for Yahoo! Sports. The awardwinning sportswriter, author, and screenwriter has covered all levels of basketball, as well as college football, the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the NHL. He was previously national college basketball columnist for CBS.Sportsline.com and has won numerous national writing awards. He has also been featured in several editions of The Best American Sports Writing and is the co-author of the critically-acclaimed investigative book Sole Influence. Wetzel graduated with a political science degree from the University of Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book may be one of the best Basketball books every written because: (1) Coach Tark does not hide in an Ivory Tower and constantly dwells among supporters, the community and anybody who wants to talk round ball. As a result he probably knows more people in Basketball than anyone. He treats everybody with dignity and respect and is one of the least arrogant people I know. He is more likely to shed tears after a tough loss rather than insults. Consequently he has a mass of stories.
Secondly, his writer and editor are supurb and assure that the stories flow as a tale that should be told.
Finally, he tells it without fear and I assure you the tales I have witnessed and appear in this book are niether embellished or toned down.
Tark tells a story of how a fatherless, destitue first generation imigrant kid can achieve the pinnacle of his profession with hard work, committment, a lot of genius and a strong conviction not to cave into mucky-muck polital correctnes.
Regardless if you see Tark as an American hero or a sketchy coach, I guarantee that if you love basketball, you will sharing this book with your friends.
These early sections give real insight into how recruiting was done at that time, especially in regards to race relations. You can really see how much work it took to get a 'have not' like Long Beach St off the ground.
The book continues on with stories of how Tark ended up at UNLV, how his great UNLV teams got built and his epic battle with the NCAA. There are some excellent stories involving Frank Sinatra and a local person going before a gaming commision sprinkled through here.
It winds down with his days in the NBA and Fresno St as well as some details on the NCAA settlement of $2.5 million he received. The book was excellent overall, but these chapters kind of felt like a downer after all the humor early in the book.
There is a small section on how Tark got Anderson Hunt, and his dealings with Perry Watson (now at U. Detroit). I really feel any coach worth his salt needs to pay attention to that story - this is where you see the main reason for Tark's success: it all just comes down to beer and chicken wings.
Tarkanian tosses caution to the wind and tells it like it really is. Some of these stories shatter common misconceptions about recruiting and the college game in general. Never before has this been done.
I read the book from cover to cover in just one day - and I'm not even a UNLV fan.
Dan Wetzel hits another home run. I recommend this book to anybody who is a fan of Tarkanian, UNLV or any other team in the nation.
A behind the curtain look at the game from a one of a kind character. Just hysterical.