CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and NV Energy President and CEO Michael Yackira, alongside university presidents Dr. Marc Johnson and Dr. Neal Smatresk, announced today the establishment of a historic, all-encompassing competition between longtime rivals UNLV and Nevada.
"We expect the furocious competition and intense fan support that is synonamous with this rivalry," Governor Brian Sandoval says.
With the Wolf Pack and Rebels both members of the Mountain West Conference, the stage is set for Nevada’s only NCAA members to compete head-to-head in 15 sports plus a unique academic component to the rivalry.
"The first year is the big one you know I think it's more than just a cannon now everybody knows about the cannon and now it's like everything," Nevada women's head basketball coach Jane Albright says.
The Governor’s Series, presented by NV Energy will be a head-to-head athletic and academic challenge that will award annual bragging rights to one of the schools each year. The winning institution will coordinate the passing of the trophy at a high-profile event in conjunction with the governor and NV Energy. The location of the respective trophy presentation each year will be determined by the school taking the trophy. Barrick Gold will serve as an associate sponsor of the series.
Both university's presidents and Gov. Sandoval announced in a press conference they are looking forward to he academic challenge of the contest.
"Every athlete will be thinking about this in the classroom. "I wonder what that Rebel is doing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. How hard they're studying and how hard they're studying in northern Nevada," because each and every grade will matter," Gov. Sandoval says.
Throughout the year, fans can track how their school is doing by looking for the Governor’s Series web pages on UNLVRebels.com and NevadaWolfPack.com. Each year, points will be awarded in each sport for victories against the in-state rival as follows:
- Head-to-head competitions will be worth 3 points
- Series or home-and-home competitions will be worth a total of 3 points; head-to-head competition in the conference tournament will serve as a tie-breaker (if available); 1.5 points for series tie in the event the teams split in the regular season and don’t play head-to-head in the conference tournament.
- Highest finish in Mountain West Championships will be used for sports that don’t compete head-to-head or in a series
- 3 points will be awarded for sport-by-sport comparison of APR scores (school with the most “wins” by sport in the head-to-head comparisons will be awarded 3 points; 1.5 point per institution in the event of tie)
- Winning institution will be retain the trophy for one (1) year
- In the event of a tie, the winner of the Battle for the Fremont Cannon football game will be used as the tie-breaker
At the end of the school year each institution will name one (1) student-athlete as its Bill Ireland Award recipient. Outstanding athletic performance within the Governor’s Series is the required component of the Ireland Award with the following criteria also considered: Sportsmanship; Academic Achievement; Character/Citizenship; and Community Service.
The award is named after Bill Ireland, who is deeply tied to the history of the Wolf Pack and Rebels athletics programs. A 1952 graduate of the University of Nevada, Ireland was the Wolf Pack’s first baseball coach (1961-67). After his time at Nevada, he went on to UNLV where he became the Rebels first football coach (1968-72) and later served as athletic director (1973-80). Ireland is credited with helping come up with the idea for the Fremont Cannon, which is the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Rebels vs. Wolf Pack football game and known to be the largest and most expensive trophy in college football, weighing in at 545 pounds at an expense of $10,000 to build.
Sports included in the Governor’s Series include football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s cross country, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis.
GOVERNOR’S SERIES SCORING
Head-to-Head Game Classification
Football 3 points for head-to-head winner
W. Soccer 3 points for head-to-head winner
M. Tennis 3 points for head-to-head winner
W. Tennis 3 points for head-to-head winner
Series or “Home and Home” Classification
M. Basketball 3 points for series winner; 1.5 points for series tie (unless tiebreaker occurs)
W. Basketball 3 points for series winner; 1.5 points for series tie (unless tiebreaker occurs)
W. Volleyball 3 points for series winner; 1.5 points for series tie (unless tiebreaker occurs)
Baseball 3 points for series winner; 1.5 points for series tie (unless tiebreaker occurs)
Softball 3 points for series winner; 1.5 points for series tie (unless tiebreaker occurs)
Highest Finisher in Conference Championship Events
W. Cross Country 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie
M. Golf 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie
W. Golf 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie
W. Swimming & Diving 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie
Indoor Track & Field 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie
Outdoor Track & Field 3 points for highest finish; 1.5 points for tie