Without Tim Pernetti, the Rutgers Athletic Department will, most likely, survive.
Kyle Flood and the football program just came off a season where they won a share of the Big East Championship. Recruiting is going fine, and the team appears primed for another solid season before entering the Big Ten. Rutgers women has C. Vivian Stringer, at least for another year. The other programs will roll on with their day to day activities while the search for an AD commences.
Except for Men's Basketball. The program hit the hardest because Mike Rice, former head coach, was the catalyst and source of all this drama.
Yesterday, reports circulated that Governor Chris Christie called Mike Brey for advice. Brey reportedly told Christie to shut the program down for a year. Let all the players transfer out and start anew in the Big Ten.
Yeah, that's right.
That's not possible, nor should it be. There is still some talent on this team. Myles Mack and Eli Carter haven't announced they're transferring. Kadeem Jack is still here. No one has made a move yet. Hire a coach now. Move forward. Then worry about an AD.
Danny Hurley, someone who would keep the talent in place, is is in the process of negotiating an extension. While extensions usually mean nothing (Steve Alford had an extension in place at New Mexico. He's the new UCLA coach. Mike Rice had signed an extension at RMU before coming to Rutgers), it would make hiring Hurley much more expensive.
Ben Howland is is apparently intrigued. But how long with he wait until he's satisfied to let UCLA pay him a couple million to do nothing?
If Rutgers waits until a new AD is hired (the last search took 2.5 months), they might as well shut down the basketball team. In June there won't be any solid candidates interested in the job. There won't be a team to field, and whomever is hired will be completely behind the 8 ball in recruiting. And will likely be someone with little to no recruiting experience anyway (think NBA guys).
Of course any new coach would want to know who their new boss is. And the new AD will probably want to be pick his own guy. But there have to be ways around that. AD candidates can be on the table during the interview process, I suppose. Or the new AD will just have to deal with it.
A new coach is a necessity.
No, Rutgers can still gain some positive PR out of this. Whoever is the next basketball coach will have higher visibility than the new AD. The Scarlet Knights need to go out and get a coach.
Hurley would be a PR hit here in New Jersey.
Howland would be a successful coach and would almost certainly bring winning ways.
Both would likely keep the talent here and be able to recruit against the negative press.
So, Rutgers, I implore you. Don't wait. Go out and get a coach.
Then worry about politics.