When UNLV announced that the school would be erecting a statue of legendary former coach Jerry Tarkanian outside the Thomas and Mack Center, the feedback was positive. But once they released an artists’ rendering of the planned Jerry Tarkanian statue, the public reception went from positive to ecstatic.
Tarkanian will be depicted sitting on the bench, with his trademark towel clenched between his teeth. It’s a fitting tribute for the Shark, and the national media seems to unanimously love the idea.
ESPN.com college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan calls it a “perfect tribute”:
Again, it’s not just the appearance — it’s what the statue says about the man. Tarkanian was many things: accessible, quirky, whimsical, and above all controversial, but he never seemed to take himself or anything else too seriously. UNLV’s statue is a perfect tribute.
Over at CBSSports.com, Gary Parrish also says the design is perfect, and that he couldn’t envision a Tarkanian statue without a towel:
I was driving home tonight and stopped at a red light when I saw a tweet stating that the design of the Jerry Tarkanian statue on the UNLV campus had been unveiled. I immediately thought to myself, “Please let there be a towel in his mouth.”
The statue is set to be unveiled in the fall, and judging by the early reviews, it’s going to be a hit.