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EMBATTLED TARKANIAN MAY SOON BE LEAVING UNLV

Jerry Tarkanian says he plans to meet with UNLV officials this week to discuss his future with the school. Sources say the embattled basketball coach will leave after the 1991-92 season.

Three sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Tuesday that Tarkanian will coach the Rebels one more year while a search is undertaken for a new coach.Tarkanian denied Tuesday that a deal had been finalized and said he planned to meet "in the next day or two" with UNLV president Robert Maxson to discuss his future.

However, The National, in today's editions, said Tarkanian told the newspaper he might resign as early as this week because of the strain the recent negative publicity surrounding his program has had on his children.

"I'm tired of looking at the hurt in my kids' eyes," The National quoted Tarkanian as saying. "I love coaching and being associated with the kids, but I'm tired of being hit over the head. I look at what my kids are going through and it bothers the hell out of me.

"Lois wants me to quit right now," he is quoted as saying about his wife. "I haven't decided what I want to do, but within a week I'll do something."

The newspaper quoted Tarkanian as saying "I don't want people to say I'm leaving because I lost five starters."

The Nevada Regents met for five hours with Tarkanian on Monday at his request, then later said Maxson had full authority to handle the Tarkanian matter.

"I'm very torn up inside," Tarkanian said of recent problems, including the publication of photos showing three players on his 1990 national championship team with a convicted sports fixer.

Sources said in interviews with The Associated Press on Tuesday that keeping Tarkanian for another year will allow UNLV "an orderly transition."

"It will allow the university to go out and hire a big-name coach," said one source. "If you do something quickly, you don't have anybody to coach the team, you become sort of a joke as you try to field a team.

"If you don't want to do irreparable damage to the program, you better have an orderly transition."

Tarkanian has built the Runnin' Rebels into a basketball power since he became coach in 1973. But his record at UNLV - 483-103 - has been marred by a long-running battle with the NCAA.

The Rebels are banned from television and postseason play next season, the final resolution of a Tarkanian-NCAA battle dating to 1977.

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(Additional information)

Jerry Tarkanian may be coaching his last season at the University of Nevada Las VEgas, sources clost to the school's basketball program say. Tarkanian has indicated he may step down on his own due to the strees being felt by his wife and children.