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UNLV basketball:

UNLV’s Reggie Smith unlikely to make UNLV debut against Illinois


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Former Marquette freshman guard Reggie Smith watches UNLV warm up before their game against TCU Saturday, January 7, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Reggie Smith’s perfect homecoming will likely be held up by paperwork.

Smith, a sophomore transfer from Marquette, thought that his first game for UNLV would be in his hometown of Chicago against Illinois. However, as that game nears, there are still several steps that have to be taken in order for him to play, and the Rebels may not have time to make them all happen.

The NCAA bylaws require a player to wait until after the completion of the school’s semester before competing. UNLV’s fall semester doesn’t technically end until Saturday, which means that the Rebels have to request a special waiver from the NCAA in order for Smith to be eligible on Saturday instead of Sunday.

In order for that to happen, first all of his grades — Smith is in five classes — have to be posted. Only after that is completed can UNLV attach those to the waiver form and send it electronically or via fax to the NCAA. As of 8:45 p.m. Thursday, his grades had still not been posted.

Even if they were, though, the decision is out of UNLV’s hands at that point. Smith has passed all of his classes with the required grades, but there’s no way of knowing how long it would take for the NCAA to review the documents and make a ruling.

The team's flight for Chicago on Friday is at about noon.

There’s still a slim chance that the pieces could fall into place for the guard, but it appears his debut will be at home Monday against Louisiana-Monroe.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Any update Taylor?

  2. Reggie gets his first lesson in bureaucracy. A hometown debut isn't bad either. Go get a win tomorrow!

  3. Wow! Really been looking forward to seeing Smith on the floor. Who dropped the ball on this one Taylor?

  4. No one dropped the ball. He has to wait for his grades like every other student at UNLV.

  5. Typical. Sometimes professors would wait forever to post grades it seems, even after the classes were over earlier in the week they would wait until the last day. I hope they get put online soon, and we can see Reggie in action.

  6. Hopefully Rice does that right thing and schedule a game in the United Center his senior year.

  7. I can't even imagine how upset I would be if I was Reggie. As a former student of UNLV I have so many stories of the bureaucracy messing with people's lives in horrible ways.

    I know at the end of the day a basketball game is only a game but overall, I haven't met a single student who hasn't had problems with the UNLV system. Including delayed graduation, which really affects when the student can start working and move on with his/her life. This is such a huge problem at UNLV.

    And in grad school, I spoke with many people who went to undergrad at other places and none of them had the problems that we have here. It was sometimes funny hearing their horror stories because to us it was normal UNLV practice.

    As much as I hate to say it, if I was a local, highly-touted recruit looking at this situation, it would make me think twice about going to UNLV.

  8. Yellowsub264: so if Rice doesn't will that make him a horrible coach?

    Cut UNLV some slack here. Teachers have to teach classes full of any where from 40-150 students. If the class is a gen ed clas it probably has 100-150 students. On top of that, a test might be written and it may not be the only class the teacher teaches. With budget cuts, some departments don't have a hand full of graduate assistants at their disposal to grade.

    Then finally when all the grades are done, the teacher has to then send the grades to the proper people to get it to the registrar , who then has to post them online. By the way, 22,000 students or so attend UNLV.

    I feel bad for the guy, but cut the university of some slack. After all, the basketball team exists because the University, does it not?

  9. I am sure that Reggie is disappointed but this may be an ok thing for him and the team. Awfully tough to ask a kid to play in his hometown against Illinois his first game in over a year. So much pressure he would put on himself and a win that UNLV really needs. Think it will be better to work him into the rotation slowly against a team like Louisiana Monroe at home. This is a big time game for us. Will not say it is a must win but seeding for NCAA tourney will look alot better with this one on the resume after whiffing at Wisconsin. Runnin' Rebels!

  10. With all the budget cuts, I would say that the University only exists because of the basketball team right now.

  11. Rebel_fan_329: no doubt it helps, but keep in mind a lot that money gets spread across the rest of the athletic department.


  12. I really hope this wasn't just a professor who resents the attention the UNLV basketball program generates. I really do hope the reason is that they actually just didn't have the time to get grades posted....I'd love to see them Let Reggie Play!

  13. I never said if he schedule a game like this his senior year hes a bad coach lol, its just a nice gesture to try and do for your seniors, kinda like how duke played Oregon in Oregon cause thats where Singler is from. I think its a cool idea on the coaches part.

  14. Yellowsub264: Oh haha, gotcha. It definitely would be cool on his part.

  15. I say coach Rice should play him anyway, with or without the proper "papers". I'm sure the NCAA will give UNLV the benefit of the doubt...