UNLV beat writer: Players could revolt if UC's Mick Cronin is hired

Mick Cronin meets with UNLV, Rebel players aren't happy

CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - UNLV players could revolt if Mick Cronin is hired as the Runnin' Rebels head coach, an UNLV beat writer told FOX19 NOW Wednesday evening.

Most players are unhappy with the Cronin situation and want current assistant coach and former Runnin Rebels' legend Stacey Augmon as the team's head coach, Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun told FOX19 NOW.

This comes after ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that Cronin and UNLV talks are going in a direction of a "marriage" but the talks are still ongoing.

Cronin arrived in Las Vegas around 10 p.m. Tuesday night to meet with UNLV's Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and others from the UNLV administration, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

If a marriage were to happen, Cronin could see a potential bump in his salary. The 10-year UC coach made $2,202,205 this year, according to USA Today.

UNLV Board of Regents have given the go-ahead to pay Cronin $2 million a year and the Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting a new Under Armour deal with the Runnin' Rebels athletics department could push the salary to around $3 million a year range.

"UNLV hasn't paid their coach well traditionally, but the money that is talked about every time UNLV is about to hire a coach and it never comes to fruition," Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun told FOX19 NOW.  "I've been hearing since January that they're going to pay real money. $2.5 million is the number I've been hearing for a while. Ultimately, I don't know how real that is.They can pay somewhere in the $2 million range, but $3 million? I don't see it happening."

Bern also told FOX19 NOW that the UNLV administration is growing impatient after they felt led on by former Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon and former Stephen F. Austin head coach Brad Underwood.

UNLV has set up a special meeting on March 30 where they want the coaching search to be concluded.

"That gives them a week to maneuver but they're trying to, if they can, sow it up (Wednesday)," Bern told FOX19 NOW.

Bern mentioned an underlying rift in the UNLV program. He said most players prefer Augmon over Cronin and players are threatening to leave the program if Cronin is hired.

"If and when UNLV hires a coach, there may be no one on the roster," Bern said. "The players are unhappy with the Cronin situation. Most of them want Augmon."

With rumors swirling, Ono tried to calm the waters Wednesday evening on social media.

Cronin has led the Bearcats to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances and accumulated a 207-129 record in his years with UC. Cronin previously coached at Murray St. and was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville and Bob Huggins at UC.

Todd Simon took over as interim head coach for the Runnin' Rebels after Dave Rice was fired back in January. UNLV went 18-15 this season.

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