In the wake of the ugly physical and verbal abuse scandal at Rutgers and the subsequent firing of men's basketball coach Mike Rice, Detroit Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank was named as a possible candidate to take over the basketball program. Frank responded to the rumor on Wednesday night and said that he's "very happy" as the coach of the Pistons and that he hasn't "heard from anyone" regarding Rutgers job (via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press):
"I'm the coach of the Pistons," Frank said before the Pistons faced the Celtics tonight. "I haven't heard from anyone."
"Like I told you, I'm very happy as the coach of the Pistons. I haven't been contacted by anyone and there's nothing more to say."
Frank was born in New York and he grew up in New Jersey, so the geographical connection to Rutgers is clear, but he also signed a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth year with the Pistons in July of 2011. Detroit finished 25-41 last season and at 25-51 this year they are headed back to the NBA Draft Lottery.
The future may still be bright for the Pistons, however. Rookie center Andre Drummond has flashed impressive potential this season, and he leads all 2012 NBA rookies with a 22.25 Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Nearly $35 million in salary obligations will come off the books this summer, and Detroit may finally have a chance to add some impact players in preparation for a playoff push next season. Frank may want to stick around and see how it all plays out. There are only 30 NBA head coaching jobs in the world, after all.
Rhode Island Rams head coach Dan Hurley is still considered a top candidate for the job at Rutgers.