Big West Conference Commissioner Jim Haney reprimanded Utah State coach Kohn Smith Wednesday as a result of derogatory comments Smith made regarding the Nevada-Las Vegas men's basketball program last week.

The remarks made by Smith were in direct violation of a section of the Big West Constitution, which prohibits such unsportsmanlike conduct as "being critical publicly of any game official, conference personnel, another university, or its personnel," the conference said in a statement."As we as a conference do not condone violations of NCAA rules and regulations, we also legislate against unduly critical public comments," Haney said. "One of the strengths of our conference has been the ability of its institutions to work together for the good of the league.

"With that in mind, the Big West Conference intends to rise above this problem and move forward to what we see as our destiny in intercollegiate athletics."

In response to the reprimand, Smith, in his first year as Utah State's head coach, expressed regrets concerning his remarks.

"What I said was totally out of line, and came out of anger and frustration," Smith said. "I want to apologize to UNLV. I'm really sorry and embarrassed. . . . I've learned a lot."