Only two days after their win to San Jose State, UNLV head football coach Tony Sanchez was fired at the close of the 2019 season.
TVT came together to discuss why they think he was fired and respond to local Las Vegas Sun journalist Ray Brewer, who says “What Tony Sanchez was able to accomplish at UNLV is nothing short of phenomenal… Don’t let the 19 and 40 record through five seasons and no bowl game appearances fool you.”
“Last I checked,” says Shapiro, “in D1 football, that’s what the number one priority is. It’s winning. What do boosters and fans really care about the most when it comes to Division 1 football? They want your team to win football games. And Tony Sanchez failed that year in and year out.”
He also mentions that, although Sanchez promoted good grade point averages in his players, there weren’t people supporting the program outside of his personal relationships. “He was not recruiting in a high level.” It is apparent that Sanchez did not leave the program in a good place for the incoming coach, although Brewer claims that “Sanchez was the right person at the right time UNLV, modernizing the program by instituting some of the basics, such as fundraising for a nutrition table for after practice meals and securing funds so players can enroll in summer school to start training for the new season.”
“Do they have a quarterback next year? Do they have a quality running back?” responds Shapiro, then suggesting he should have been an athletic director.
Joining Sharp and Shapiro is producer Jason Stein, who reads aloud Brewer’s Twitter response to TVT’s criticism of his Sun article: “Wrote this eight days ago. If you’re going to troll me, then get into a social media dispute to enhance your silent voice in this market, at least make it timely.”
“When the news of Sanchez’s firing broke, most of us weren’t even here,” says Shapiro, as the announcement was made over the Thanksgiving holiday. “Second of all, it’s on the air, and if it’s irrelevant and take it down off your web page.”
JD adds that Brewer’s article defeats the purpose of what the article needs to accomplish, which is the fact that Tony Sanchez was fired for a reason. Although he had relations with the Fertittas he just didn’t win games. “He was a high school coach who had no experience whatsoever coming from behind in big games. He always had the best talent possible. He goes into the Mountain West Conference with this team that has never won anything except the Randall Cunningham era. So, why don’t you [Brewer] say that if you really wanted to defend Tony Sanchez.”
Additionally, Shapiro mentions that Brewer does not to his recollection criticize football or basketball at UNLV, making him a biased reporter.
“Why is it that there are some members of the media in this town that they just cannot be criticized?”
He also brings up beating Reno. “Reno is not a good football team, OK? They beat Reno. They’re making it like they beat Alabama! The number one thing that a coach is hired to do at a university is to win. I congratulated Tony Sanchez after his win over the weekend. He always would come on our show every time I asked him. The point I’m trying to make is, you can have a personal relationship with a coach and still be able to criticize a coach. Ray Brewer has never criticized Tony Sanchez, Marvin Menzies, or Dave Rice. And that is a joke.”
“When you write articles,” Sharp concludes that, “you’re employed to give an honest angle. When what you write and say are polluted by the ridiculous statements you’re making about these teams that just really are not that good, it’s a problem. If I got a 19 out of 40, I would get an F.”