On March 27, former Arkansas-Little Rock coach Chris Beard accepted a position as head coach of UNLV's men's basketball program. The contract was ratified by the UNLV board of regents 11 days later and it became official on April 6. Today, April 15, Chris Beard is the head coach at Texas Tech. UNLV, as you might imagine, is incredibly salty about this recent development. Aside from the time and effort spent—wasted—in hiring Beard during an important recruiting period which they will now have to duplicate, they probably feel like they look stupid. And that probably explains why they released this statement, which is just overflowing with passive aggressive sodium.
Hoo boy. It starts off well enough, extremely disappointed blah blah…the fans…blah blah blah but then it really moves in for the kill at the end. UNLV is going to hire "a great coach who really wants to be here and who will honor his commitments." The "unlike that asshole Beard" is implied. I enjoy that college administrators still feel shocked that this happens, like we don't always hear about coaches skipping town for greener pastures. Maybe the statement is the only revenge they can get—it's not like they can force the coaches to sit out a year while they transfer. It's also pretty rich to accept a buyout and then talk about someone not honoring commitments. But this is college sports, where literally no one is an adult.
Context matters here, too. Beard spent ten years as an assistant under Bobby Knight at Tech, and to hear him talk about Lubbock, it sure sounds like this his dream job. He spoke about earlier this year when his Arkansas-Little Rock team was in town:
"People ask me all the time where I'm from," Beard said. "I moved around a lot as a kid, and I've coached a lot of different places, but Lubbock's the longest I've ever lived somewhere, 10 years. And two of my three daughters were born here.
"It was a little bit emotional. I'd be lying if I said anything different."
That dream job suddenly became available Thursday morning when Tubby Smith left Tech for Memphis. The AD contacted UNLV to seek permission to speak to Beard before meeting with him that evening and the rest fell into place quickly, much to the obvious chagrin of UNLV.