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Rock Chalk Reviews - Rebel With A Cause: The True Story of Jerry Tarkanian

Reviewing the book about legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian

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I realize that many people are looking for things to do now that there are no sports. When the NFL Draft ends, we will be out of “live” sports content until who knows when. This is the perfect time to binge watch a new show, catch up on movies you missed, or find some good books to read.

For many of us, the pain of missing out on the sports calendar has us turning to finding sports content wherever we can. There are plenty of archives of old sports documentaries. And as great as those KU books are sitting on my shelf, I’ve read them so many times that I needed something new.

Luckily, there’s a whole world of college sports history that is waiting to be explored. To that end, I’d highly recommend the new book Rebel With A Cause: The True Story of Jerry Tarkanian, by Danny Tarkanian. He tells the story of his father with a perspective that we have never seen before.

Having not lived through the time period, I was woefully unaware of most of the details of his coaching career. This book does a great job of pulling together information from as many sources as possible to tell as complete a story as you possibly can.

I was a bit surprised that Danny decided to tell this story in the third person, having been so close to many of the events. In fact, I let that decision bias my opinion of the book early, as I was hoping to get a first hand view of how the coach worked and was able to have such a profound impact on the sport. But as I read more and more, I came to appreciate just how freeing this viewpoint was, as it allowed him to cover a larger time period and give a fuller view of the man that so many people missed out on the chance to know.

Without spoiling too much, the book peels back further the level of corruption and lack of fairness that the NCAA Enforcement process has had for so long. While the public is just starting to become aware of this, it’s been known among coaching circles for a long time, as the book makes clear.

I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of the book yourself, as it’s an enjoyable read that will help you to pass some of your time in lockdown. And make sure you tune in to the podcast next week, as we’ll have Danny on to talk about his father and the book.