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Rebel Assistant Picks a Fight

November 05, 2002|Rob Fernas

Football Coach John Robinson of Nevada Las Vegas said Monday that he would address an awkward situation that occurred Saturday, when assistant head coach John Jackson left the Rebels' game early to get to a boxing card in which he was promoting a fighter.

Jackson, who earns $119,600 annually for overseeing UNLV's running game, left Sam Boyd Stadium with about three minutes left in regulation and the Rebels leading Wyoming by eight points. Wyoming rallied to tie the score before UNLV won in overtime, 49-48.

Jackson said he thought the game was "in hand" when he left to drive to the MGM Grand for the Marco Antonio Barrera-Johnny Tapia featherweight fight. Jackson is Barrera's promoter.

Jackson, a former USC assistant under Robinson from 1976 to '81, was quoted last week as saying, "They need me more at the football game," when asked if he would leave early to attend the fight. Robinson said he had not been aware of Jackson's early departure at the time.

Robinson said a conflict occurred when the date of the fight and the time of UNLV's game were changed.

"It put the pressure on him, and he made that decision [to leave]," Robinson said. "That won't ever happen again."

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