At times it may seem like it, but not everyone bashes Jerry Tarkanian.
Columnist Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald had this to say about the beleaguered Nevada Las Vegas basketball coach:
"I like Jerry Tarkanian. Heresy, I know. The guy's a bad character. A bad dresser.
"But he has some things in common with Thomas Paine, Billie Jean King, Ralph Nader, Spike Lee, Rosa Parks--people unafraid to say the emperor has no clothes.
"He's a maverick, anti-hero. Rebel with a cause. I see that shiny pate as a beacon of hope above the prevailing tide of wimpism, spinelessness and hypocrisy.
"Tarkanian coaches in a city crawling with shadowy wanna-bes and celebrity groupies, a city with as many lecherous hangers-on as valet parkers. Las Vegas ain't South Bend.
"The conservative world of coaching needs people like Tarkanian."
Another Bruin: Corey Pavin, Steve Pate, Jim Delsing and Duffy Waldorf aren't the only UCLA alumni making names for themselves in professional golf. Jim Albus, winner of the recent Senior Players Championship over Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino & Co., is a 1965 graduate of UCLA, majoring in marketing.
If the name isn't familiar, it may be because Albus did not play golf for the Bruins. He used up his eligibility at Bucknell playing basketball and baseball before coming West.
Trivia time: The Pikes Peak Hill Climb will be held today for the 69th time. How many times has an Unser won?
Smart decision: Louis Gossett Jr., who attended New York University on a basketball and drama scholarship, calls himself a "frustrated jock." After graduating in 1959, the 6-foot-4 Gossett was invited to attend a New York Knicks' rookie camp.
"I had a choice of being beaten on my elbows or knees or doing 'A Raisin in the Sun,' Gossett recalled. "I chose 'A Raisin in the Sun.' "
Gossett played sandlot baseball in Brooklyn with a left-handed pitcher named Sandy Koufax, but the closest he came to playing professionally was when he portrayed pitcher Satchel Paige in the movie, 'Don't Look Back.'
Fleeting fame: Leroy Burrell, the newest world's fastest human, thinks of himself as being on the sprinting hot seat.
"I think I can run in the 9.8s," Burrell said after his 9.90-second record for 100 meters when he upset Carl Lewis, his close friend and the former record-holder. "I haven't changed, but the way people look at me has changed. All those (world's fastest human) labels can be changed at any time. If I don't keep on winning, I'm a dud."
Trivia answer: 32, by seven Unsers. Uncle Louie, the first to win in 1934, had nine. Bobby, King of the Hill, has a record 13. Robby, Bobby's son, has three. Others are Al, two; Al Jr., one; Jerry, two; and Louis Jr., two.
Quotebook: The late George Allen, on winning on the road: "The street to obscurity is paved with athletes who performed great feats before friendly crowds. Greatness in major league sports is the ability to win in a stadium filled with people who are pulling for you to lose."