Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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The Elevator

Who’s headed toward the penthouse on the local sports scene — and who’s getting the shaft.

GOING UP

Rene Rougeau

A former walk-on who earned a spot in the starting lineup last season with the UNLV basketball team, Rougeau this week was awarded a full scholarship for his senior season by Rebels head coach Lon Kruger. It’s always nice to see perseverance — and loyalty — rewarded.

Mason Trafford

Trafford, a starting defender the past two seasons for the UNLV men’s soccer team, recently signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer League. In four years with the Rebels, Trafford had two goals and four assists, including one goal and one assist as a senior, and was a two-time all-conference selection.

Blake Amador

Amador played one season (2007) at UNLV and received only nine at-bats, so he transferred to Fresno State for his senior season. While the Rebels were struggling to a 22-37 record this season, Amador was playing a reserve role for the Bulldogs, who won the 2008 National Championship this week in Omaha.

Bryce Massanari

Massanari, a Centennial High and College of Southern Nevada product, was a key member of the University of Georgia baseball team that advanced to the College World Series before losing to upstart Fresno State in three games. Although his bat was quiet in the championship series, Massanari hit .325 with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs this season for the Bulldogs.

GOING DOWN

Kurt Busch

Busch, a Las Vegas native and the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, has had only one top-10 finish since the season-opening race and has slipped to 22nd in points with little hope of qualifying for the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Busch, who drives for team owner Roger Penske, has not won a race since August and is mired in a 29-race winless streak.

Don Imus

Among several offensive comments Imus made this week while discussing Adam “Pacman” Jones was this gem: “He’s a lovely kid.” We can think of a few people in Las Vegas, starting with the family and friends of Tom Urbanski, who would take exception to that statement.

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