(Editor's Note: The following is a system-wide note from the Board of Regents)
Dear University Presidents, Athletic Directors and Student Body Presidents:
As our two outstanding Nevada universities approach their always highly anticipated gridiron competition, please join us in celebrating this cherished rivalry with excitement, passion, and the paramount priority, sportsmanship. Athletic fields are extensions of our academic halls and the values of respect and ethical behavior prevail in the contest as well as in the classroom. Sportsmanship applies to players, coaches, students and fans from both institutions, before, during and after the game.
Legendary coach Knute Rocke emphasized one person practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundred teaching it. Show respect for the opponents at all times. Congratulate the opponents in a sincere manner after either victory or defeat. Show respect for the officials, those impartial arbitrators who are trained to do their job and who do it to the best of their ability. Everyone participating in and attending the game should accept seriously the responsibility and privilege of representing their school and their community.
The great Olympic athlete, Jesse Owens, competing at the 1936 Berlin Games in one of the most hostile arenas in history, won the hearts of the world for his sportsmanship and dignity, not just during those events he medaled in but for all time. This inspirational individual bequeathed us enduring wisdom about sports competition:
"In the end, it's extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more than that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don't win, how can you lose?"
Expect no less from yourself and share this message with your coaches, athletes, students and communities. Ask them to join with us in enjoying the day and the game and in exemplifying the tradition of sportsmanship that characterizes all truly great competitors.
Kevin J. Page
Chairman, Board of Regents
Vice Chairman, Board of Regents