Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, April 5, 2013 | 10:05 a.m.
Jerry Tarkanian. Hall of famer.
That’s the newest title for the legendary coach, who had been trying to receive the distinction for more than 20 years after taking UNLV to four Final Fours, including one national championship.
CBSSports.com reported Friday morning that Tarkanian will be a member of the 2013 class inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Rick Pitino reportedly is also in. The official announcement will be Monday at the Final Four in Atlanta. Tarkanian is already there and was unavailable for comment.
Despite his success at UNLV, and Long Beach State before that, this was the first year Tarkanian was a finalist for the Hall. One of 12 to make that cut, he had to receive at least 18 of 24 votes from the Hall committee in order to be inducted. The ceremony is Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
"I am elated for Coach Tark and his family," said current UNLV coach Dave Rice, who played for Tarkanian. "It is a great day for Runnin' Rebel fans and for all of Coach Tark's former coaches and players."
The long wait is widely believed to be due to Tarkanian’s many public battles with the NCAA. One of the first public figures to point out some of the NCAA’s many flaws, he seemed to find himself in the organization’s crosshairs often.
Tarkanian wasn’t able to travel to the Final Four last year because of a respiratory condition, and health issues have been a battle for him the past couple of years. He was able to make the trip this year, though, and on Monday will hear the official word in person.
The Hall was the last battle Tarkanian was still waging on a basketball court, and finally it appears he has won.