Recruit from a Rolls? Only Tark

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Few blogs offer up better anecdotes than Shark Bytes, Jerry Tarkanian’s online rambling spot on LasVegasSun.com. The legendary UNLV coach excels at funny, off-kilter stories (this Pac-10 post from 2009 remains one of my faves) that aren’t even always about college hoops.

Alas, Tark’s last post was in May. What to do?

If you’re me, you open the mailbox to find Sports Illustrated’s “Where Are They Now?” issue. Inside, a fine feature on Tark by Selena Roberts.

(exhales happily)

My favorite bit? The image of Tark recruiting prospects by driving around in a (borrowed) Rolls Royce.

“Old Tark, he had style,” former UNLV star Larry Johnson once told me of his beloved college coach. “The other coaches drive rented Toyotas to summer leagues; he drove in a white Rolls.” It was a borrowed luxury ride. A booster in Texas let Tark drive it around Dallas when he was recruiting players like Johnson. “Beautiful car,” Tark recalls. “I had a great time.”

Ah, Tark. The guy could coach, but there’s no way the NCAA would allow him to be nearly that much fun today. Pity. The game thrives on characters.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.