I think Julie Hermann was an unqualified choice for Rutgers athletic director because she did not have a background with football. Furthermore, her moves have largely been to shift athletics resources from football to olympic sports, and this is an extremely unsound strategy. These actions, plus a lot of things out of her control, have led to a poisonous relationship with a lot of members of the Rutgers football community. Beyond that, she has made a lot of rookie mistakes, and it's pretty clear that she lied about player abuse at Tennessee because all of her players came forward a month before she was named to the athletic director job.
Based on the public comments of former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti on the day of his resignation, I blame the Rutgers Board of Governors and other senior administrators for preventing Pernetti from firing Mike Rice after first seeing the video of Rice's player abuse in late 2012. These same officials then turned on Pernetti as a scapegoat to save their own hides after the video became public, and I feel extremely untrusting and angry towards my alma mater for punishing the innocent while letting the guilty go free in this matter.
In spite of all of this, I am extremely optimistic for the future of Rutgers University and Rutgers athletics in the long run. In spite of our collective propensity to unendingly keep shooting ourselves in our collective feet, we somehow make due and persevere.
As a Rutgers fan, this is a welcome development. The team's scheduling model has changed. Not only is there not necessarily the ironclad need for 7 home games every year (though it would be nice), but more conference revenue coming in lessens the need for a paycheck game against a poor opponent. Ideally now if there are going to be 9 conference games, Rutgers would schedule one other "good" OOC opponent a year (UCLA, Miami, etc...), and then buy two other home games.
There are a lot of rumors right now floating around regarding the Rutgers coaching staff (like Ron Prince interviewing for the RB coach job with the Saints), but it is always important to wait before things are fully finalized. One case in point is the Wilson hire; a week ago it was being reported that GA Anthony Campanile was being promoted to DB coach, and now comes word that Wilson (who spent 1999 on Terry Shea's staff before leaving for Wisconsin and then Iowa) is returning to Rutgers. Wilson, the former head coach at Wilson High in Camden, has a reputation as a top South Jersey recruiter. With Rutgers beating him a bit in recent years, he's had some success moving into Maryland; with Rutgers to sell instead of Iowa though, Rutgers should be doing a great job with prospects from the likes of Winslow and Timber Creek. This hire should help recruiting significantly, and credit has to go to Kyle Flood and the athletic department for making it happen. This helps Rutgers, and not only weakens a future league opponent, but also helps stem the flow of good prospects out of state even further. So if Wilson's coming, what happens to Campanile? There is a lot of value in making him a full assistant with the idea that he could be a good North/Central Jersey recruiter, as opposed to the current committee approach there. One other note: Devin Fitzsimmons doesn't seem to be listed as a GA anymore on scarletknights.com for what that's worth.
It's been several seasons now since the Rutgers women's basketball team was consistently competing at an elite level. Indeed, 2012-2013 has brought new indignities to the squad, such as losing to Big East doormat Seton Hall. Given the downward trend and her hefty salary, C. Vivian Stringer is starting to face a lot of criticism locally. If anything, she probably just poured gasoline on the fire with her combative response to critics the other day. Getting defensive absolutely was not the right move here.
to be the LBs coach. Good lord. Smith is certainly qualified, and I get that Schiano wants to reward his friends and loyal former staffers, but this is ridiculous. You're telling me he couldn't have found someone else who was qualified for the job? Bob Fraser is a great LB coach, so I don't even see what's the point in the first place. Stay tuned - I'm going to do a survey later tonight to see who might be a realistic option, besides an internal hire. (Pure speculation - Dave Cohen has DC experience, and one rumor has been that Dave Brock was trying to hire him at Delaware.)
In a year where Rutgers has a lot of NFL prospects, a lot of snubs are inevitable. The following players were invited: RB Jawan Jamison WR Mark Harrison TE D.C. Jefferson LB Khaseem Greene LB Steve Beauharnais CB Logan Ryan Players notably missing include: RT R.J. Dill DE Ka'Lial Glaud DT Scott Vallone CB Brandon Jones S Duron Harmon Dill, Vallone, and Jones are fringy prospects probably in the late day three range, but Harmon could be late day two/early day three, so his snubbing is a big surprise. Seeing all this NFL talent only makes coming short in 2012 that more upsetting, even if we know that guys like Harrison and Jefferson were mainly invited due to their physical measurables.
More details still have to come out, but this sure is a strange situation. Brooklyn JUCO lineman Ali Kassem issued a public verbal commitment to Rutgers today, only to switch to NC State several hours later. Personally, I was lukewarm on Kassem. I thought he was a decent prospect, but only decent. I wanted Rutgers to sign another high school offensive lineman in this class, not a JUCO, as they already had plenty of upperclassmen. Perhaps some more behind the scenes details will come out, but I don't really see this as making much of a difference either way regardless of what happens.
The Catholic 7 departees are still formally members of the Big East conference for contractual reasons - after all, they are not inclined to walk away from nearly $70 million dollars in the bank. But as Big East football fans know, the Catholic 7 are the most detestable, greedy, unethical bunch in all of college sports (which is really saying something), and their shameless capacity for inducing outrage knows no bounds. The latest cardinal sin is that the Catholic 7 are collaborating with Notre Dame, funneling ND inside information in its quest to leave the Big East conference early. The Catholic 7 working against the league's collective financial interests isn't exactly news, nor is their blind devotion to a Notre Dame program that surreptitiously abandoned them with zero qualms. To see those two phenomena converge really is a sight to behold however. Catholic 7 hypocrisy and greed destroyed the Big East, and it's still continuing to this day when they theoretically are already out the door.
From their current spot closer to downtown New Brunswick. The lede in the story is that Rutgers itself may get into the Grease Truck business, but I think the information about their new location is the bigger part, and should hopefully quell any fears about the ultimate fate of the trucks.
The team officially announced five incoming freshmen today - QB Chris Laviano, RB Dontae Ayres, LB Lester Liston, CB Nadir Barnwell, and CB Delon Stephenson. Barnwell and Stephenson should have good opportunities to see time next fall both because of talent and need, while Liston has a chance at the two deep. The other two will probably redshirt. One surprising name not on the list is punter Dean Crozier. He seemingly came out of nowhere a few weeks back, only to disappear just as fast due to eligibility issues. Honestly, it was a surprise that a 24-year old foreigner was eligible to begin with. So, that raises the question about whether the staff is comfortable with DiPaula next year or not.
Another day, another 2013 commitment for Rutgers football. This time it's Janarion Grant out of Florida, who projects to slot receiver or cornerback most likely. Looks like a solid enough commit, but Rutgers already has some commits at WR and in the secondary, so he doesn't fill a huge need necessarily. Rutgers has a lot of commits overall, so there aren't necessarily any huge needs left in terms of position. They could use another freshman OL signee, but the biggest name left there is JUCO Ali Kassem. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to LB recruit Skai Moore, although he also is at a position need. Overall, it's not a terrible recruiting year for Rutgers, but definitely a relative disappointment compared to the last few. A top NJ recruiter on the staff would really do wonders moving forward.
Quentin Gause recently established a pipeline from Rochester, New York to Rutgers, and now Devan Carter is following in his footsteps. Carter decommitted from Syracuse following Doug Marrone's departure, and now has committed to Rutgers. There's probably an equal chance that he ends up at either fullback or linebacker, depending on whether or not Rutgers is able to land another LB like Skai Moore or not. Carter is a solid prospect, not a headline guy, but Rutgers definitely does need another fullback. Cue the endless vitriol from Syracuse about how Rutgers is the devil and Greg Schiano invented negative recruiting, even though no other fanbase has ever complained about either.
SMU is a significant downgrade from Boise State as a road game, but they should be a better team than Memphis. How exactly did SMU lose to Tulane and then beat Fresno State though? For those wondering, Louisville gets Memphis instead of SMU, while another presumed preseason contender in Cincinnati has it easiest of all in missing UCF.
Thanks to Matt Hladik from Rivals for retweeting a bit about this earlier. Following Delaware's shocking firing of K.C. Keeler, some early speculation suggests that the Blue Hens may have some interest in one of their former assistants, Rutgers offensive coordinator Dave Brock. It's unclear whether there is any merit to these reports, or it's just speculation based on Delaware's athletic director formerly working at Boston College. I have mixed feelings on this. Brock isn't Kirk Ciarrocca (another former Delaware assistant), meaning, his offenses aren't fundamentally, structurally unsound. He has called good gameplans at times. The problem is that the offense was overwhelmingly, impossibly conservative this year. Whether that came from Brock or Flood I can't say, but I want a bigger name offensive coordinator if only so it's a guy who has credibility to take the hammer to anyone if needed. That's what that sort of cachet allows more than anything. Update: reports say Dave Cohen may be a candidate too.
Ugh, this is really disappointing. There have been mixed reports on whether it's Moore's family or his coaches who have been pushing him away from Rutgers from the start. This interview with Moore's coach seems to indicate that Rutgers is out of it. However, you never know - D.C. Jefferson's coach wanted him at LSU, and Rutgers eventually got him to recommit. This is worth monitoring for the time being. Obviously we'd love to have Moore, and you hope his recruitment didn't cause RU to pass on other good prospects.
Former Rutgers WR coach P.J. Fleck hiring Ed Pinkham from Elon to be the new defensive coordinator at Western Michigan was a sensible enough move. He was a decent enough DB coach at Rutgers, sharing co-coordinator duties near the end of his tenure with LB coach Bob Fraser. Pinkham was mainly let go because Schiano wanted to bring in Jeff Hafley for recruiting reasons. It's not outlandish to suggest that he could succeed there. Another point to note is that current Rutgers LB coach is the former defensive coordinator at WMU under Bill Cubit, who coincidentally was just hired as Illinois's new OC. For offensive coordinator however, Fleck has gone in a shocking direction in digging up former Rutgers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca. Since being fired from Rutgers following the 2010 season, Ciarrocca spent one year as the interim offensive coordinator at Richmond in 2011, before returning to Delaware as RB coach last year. Ciarrocca was a decent enough WR coach at Rutgers in 2008, but his tenure as offensive coordinator was, frankly, an unmitigated disaster that the program is only now recovering from. He probably ranks among the worst offensive coordinators in DI history. It's hard to fathom how Fleck came to the conclusion that this was any sort of a good idea.
To elaborate, the Star-Ledger's sports desk has not been unfair to Rutgers athletics over the years, but the rest of the paper sure has been. No more. You can't exactly deny how incredible the accomplishment of getting into the Big Ten was, although as Pernetti notes, it will come with facility upgrade commitments. We do see the tidbit that the Big Ten move led directly to a $10m donation for the RAC upgrade project. Issuing more debt for RAC renovation is a sound move with interest rates as low as they are right now, and a certain revenue stream coming down the line. That should also silence the basketball fans upset that Rutgers issued a bond for football but had not yet to this point for hoops. The piece also includes some biographical details about Pernetti, including his father's battle with cancer, and Tim's unabashed love of Ronald Reagan. Guess that makes sense given how much Tim seems to praise Chris Christie.
There had been some speculation about this, but looking at this logically, it didn't really make a lot of sense. Jamison had a good season, and is an improving player, but he had trouble staying healthy this year, and could have definitely improved his stock with a good 2013. Some would argue that this year's crop of RBs is going to be weak, but I still don't really see Jamison being a high pick. If he came back and had a strong 2013, his stock would have probably risen to the third round range. Perhaps Jamison sees his stock rising during the pre-draft workout process, or is worried about the well-documented short shelf live for running backs in the pros. Rutgers should be fine with former blue chipper Savon Huggins starting, who did look good in his limited opportunities this season. The problem is more behind him, where the team has walk-on Paul James, speedster Ben Martin, and spark plug Des Peoples, none of whom have seen especially a lot of in game action. That doesn't mean that they can't play, but this definitely will open up the competition in April. Dontae Ayres is signed for this year's class, and there's always the possibility that Rutgers could try to get back into the mix with some other RB prospects as well. Sure, this is a loss. Jawan Jamison is a good player, and although I think Huggins probably has more raw talent, Jamison's slashing running style was a better fit for Kyle Flood's offense than Huggins, who is more of a straight-ahead type. It's not devastating though. It'll be tough, but Huggins can fill Jamison's shoes. Losing a potential first round pick in Logan Ryan, at a spot where Rutgers is hurting for depth looms as a far bigger loss.
Rutgers is losing a lot of really good talent on defense this year to the NFL, but with top underclassmen like Kevin Snyder and Darius Hamilton ready to step up, the front seven isn't a big concern in 2013. At safety, we also have transfer Sheldon Royster to help soften the blow. Corner is a bigger problem though. Tejay Johnson is ready to play, but the other starting job is now a big question mark with the news that Logan Ryan is declaring early for the draft. Ryan should go in the top two rounds most likely, and has all the measurables and cover skill to be a NFL starter. The depth chart is pretty inexperienced after Johnson and maybe Gareef Glashen, which could open the door for true freshman Nadir Barnwell next year.
Boise in the MWC? UNC and Georgia Tech in the Big Ten? Sounds fun.
The seven presidents need to listen to him and do what he suggests or they will be destined to repeat some bad history, where the personal agenda of certain schools became more important than the good of the group.Good god. Does Hoops Weiss not have an irony detector? So basically, I called this a few days ago when the whole shadow commissioner thing came out, and this is as clear a trial balloon as any. The Big East basketball schools really could let the inept Mike Tranghese and Providence take dictatorial power over the conference again. They really intend to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it's 1985. Uh, good luck with that.
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