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NCAA Stuck in Nevada : Enforcement: New state law says proceedings must conform to due process. Latest UNLV case taken off NCAA agenda.

November 01, 1991|DANNY ROBBINS and ELLIOTT ALMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Although Schultz declined to identify the case, sources familiar with the matter said it involves the University of New Mexico track and field program. That school's former track and field coach, Del Hessel, is now at Nevada Reno.

Schultz said the NCAA is reluctant to move ahead with either case because of the threat of legal action that could be brought under the Nevada statute.

"We're in the position right now where we don't want to give anybody any excuse to take us to court in Nevada because we've had too many (negative) experiences there," he said, referring to Tarkanian's success in setting aside his suspension in Nevada courts. "We don't feel there's much of a way of winning something in state court. . . . So we're just really taking a look to see what all of our options might be."

Chief among the NCAA's options, Schultz said, would be to seek federal legislation or to file a lawsuit.

"We either try to get some federal preemptive legislation or challenge the law (in court)," he said. "We think there are some real questions as to the legality of the law. . . . We think there are two or three pretty solid positions on which to proceed with some type of lawsuit. We'd be seeking an injunction, but that's just a nice way of saying you're suing the state.

"I think it will probably come down to one of those two (options), because we can't ignore (an infractions matter), and we're not going to just charge in and violate the law and end up in state court."

Speaking of the NCAA's predicament in general, Schultz said: "It's bizarre. And it just shows what happens when the political process gets wound up in a voluntary association's ability to carry on its business."

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