John Locher/Associated Press
UNLV quarterback Max Gilliam issued an apology on Twitter after he was shown at a dinner where sushi was presented on a nude model for the Bravo reality series Below Deck.
“I would like to apologize for my poor judgement while on the TV show Below Deck and acknowledge that I have made a mistake that I will learn from. While it was not my idea nor any of my friends ideas to eat sushi off a model, I should have exercised better judgement and declined the idea immediately when it was brought up by the producers.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal‘s Adam Hill provided some more context regarding Gilliam’s involvement on the show, which focuses on the members of a crew aboard a yacht and their interactions with people who charter the vessel:
“[Gilliam] appeared with his childhood best friend, Dax Nittolo, another friend identified on the show only as Luke, and their three girlfriends. They chartered the boat out of Jolly Harbour, Antigua.
“Dinner on the first night was the highlight of the episode. A world-class chef describes with painstaking detail her sushi preparation but expresses frustration her efforts may have been wasted on a group that seems far more infatuated with how it was served.
“They had requested the sushi to be laid out on a nude model, who had to be picked up from shore and adorned in large leafs before rice and raw fish were placed over her.”
Per ESPN Las Vegas’ Tyler Bischoff, UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo said the school wasn’t aware of what unfolded on the show until recently and that officials are “reviewing the matter internally.” Citing local media reports, Hill noted the show was filmed in February and March, so Gilliam didn’t run afoul of any COVID-19 protocols.
Hill wrote it doesn’t appear Gilliam committed any NCAA violations, even though he was identified as the “star quarterback at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.”
The Thousand Oaks, California, native transferred to UNLV in 2018 after attending junior college at Saddleback College. He made 11 appearances during the 2018 season but didn’t get on the field last year.
Through five games, Gilliam has thrown for 599 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in 2020. The winless Rebels have their final game Saturday on the road against Hawaii.