Basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, indicating that it may be a gamble, said Tuesday that he has offered troubled basketball player Clifford Allen a scholarship and hopes "now that he has somewhere to go, it might make a difference."
The 6-foot 10-inch Allen, a former reform school inmate, is considered by college coaches as a major prospect even though he has never played in high school. He currently is awaiting a review board's decision on allegations that he violated his parole, which has made his future at Carson High School unclear.
But Tarkanian said he mailed a letter of intent to Allen that is expected to be signed today, the first day of the early signing period during which players can accept scholarships.
"We don't know what is going to happen with the current situation, but we'll sign him anyway," Tarkanian said.
Allen has played against current Rebel players Eldridge Hudson, also from Carson, and Mark Wade, the California junior college player of the year from El Camino College, in summer tournaments and, according to Tarkanian, had hoped to go to Las Vegas.
"He was going to come here before all this happened," Tarkanian said. "We made a home visit in September and he said then he wanted to play for us.
"I love his court attitude. He just likes to play and always seems to get along with everyone on his team."
Several other local players will also sign letters of intent between today and Nov. 20.
Guard Marlon Vaughn, the second or third man off the bench for Coach Ernie Carr last season on the Compton Dominguez team that reached the Southern Section 4-A Division final, said he will attend Cal State Fullerton, which he visited last weekend.
Nathan Call, a wide receiver at Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, the third-ranked football team in the Southern Conference, has decided to play basketball for Brigham Young. He will follow two of his older brothers, Wayne and Burt.
Two others from Capistrano Valley, Jason Trask and John Waikle, said they will play for Coach Larry Farmer at Weber State in Utah.