NCAA: Former UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian Hospitalized

Former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels head men’s basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian was taken to a Las Vegas hospital on April 10. 

According to Ray Brewer of The Las Vegas Sun, Tarkanian complained about breathing difficulties while in Dallas, Tex. for the men’s Final Four: 

“Former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has been hospitalized in Las Vegas after he started having breathing difficulties Saturday while in Dallas for the Final Four. 

“He was tested for pneumonia before the trip, but the results were negative and he was cleared to travel, his son Danny Tarkanian said. 

“Jerry Tarkanian was in Dallas to cheer for Kentucky, whose coach, John Calipari, is a close friend. Tarkanian was a special guest at Kentucky’s practice on Friday, but he watched the team’s national semifinal game from his hotel the following day after he started feeling weak, his son said. 

“The symptoms didn’t improve once he returned to Las Vegas. And on Wednesday, when he was struggling to keep his eyes open, he was taken to Valley Hospital, Danny Tarkanian said. 

“Jerry Tarkanian was sedated at the hospital, and doctors are trying to determine what is behind his condition. 

“Danny Tarkanian said doctors ran a CT scan to test for a stroke. The elder Tarkanian has fluid in his lungs and his heart isn’t working at full strength, his son said.” 

Danny Tarkanian told Brewer,”Maybe it’s a variety (of problems) causing the weakness. They’re trying to get him stable and taking a bunch of tests.” 

Prior to his hospitalization, Jerry Tarkanian had been having some health issues in past years. 

Last July 2013, he spent 11 days in a San Diego hospital with a pacemaker due to clogged arteries. He also had a heart attack in March 2012 and is seen on a wheelchair whenever he goes out in public, per CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. 

Tarkanian was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Sept. 2013, per The Associated Press (via USA Today). He won a total of 784 games in his distinguished basketball coaching career. The pinnacle came when he guided UNLV to the national title in 1990 and a total of four Final Four appearances. 

His son Danny told Fox Sports’ Sam Gardner in the aftermath of his father’s induction last year that the honor did not really vindicate the coach’s past feuds with the NCAA. 

“It surprised us that he was inducted, but there’s no vindication for him. The NCAA did as much as it could to dismantle his career. 

“Every single time he had it going, they tried to close him down, and even with that, he’s still one of the winningest coaches of all time. He had a chance to have one of the greatest careers of all time, and the NCAA did what it could to stop it time and again. 

“So being inducted into the Hall of Fame, does it validate all that? No, of course not. Why would it? Because you have a bunch of guys who finally used their opinions and biases and preferences to decide that he should be in? That’s supposed to make his career any more successful than it was when he had it?” 

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