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Report: Las Vegas auto dealer let Larry Johnson use Corvette

Published Oct. 10, 2005

While leading Nevada-Las Vegas to an undefeated regular season last year, All-America forward Larry Johnson had the use of a $32,000 sports car that was the property of an automobile dealership with ties to the UNLV athletic program, court and state of Nevada records show.

Johnson drove a 1989 Chevrolet Corvette belonging to Fletcher Jones Import Center of Las Vegas last season for at least two weeks before the car was sold by the dealership to a high school coach in Dallas, Johnson's hometown, the records show.

Another dealership owned by the same family, Fletcher Jones Chevrolet, has donated courtesy cars and money to the UNLV athletic department in exchange for basketball season tickets, according to school records.

School records also show that Johnson twice left complimentary passes to games last season for Bernie Schiappa, general manager of Fletcher Jones Import Center.

UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian said he has no direct knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Johnson's use of the Corvette, but added that all vehicles driven by Johnson at UNLV were scrutinized by the NCAA and the university.

But UNLV legal counsel Brad Booke said the school has not examined how Johnson obtained the Corvette. Booke indicated that UNLV would look into the matter.

Johnson did not respond to a request for an interview.