No NCAAs, WBB is staying home (sort of)

Rich Schultz

She claimed that her women's basketball team was the "flagship program" at Rutgers. But for the second year in a row, C. Vivian Stringer's team is putting away equipment before the first tip of the NCAAs.

Uh oh.  The Women's Basketball team ain't dancing.  And what does that mean for C. Vivian Stringer?

She's a Hall of Fame coach.  And not just women's basketball, Naismith Basketball HOF!

She's taken three different teams to the Final Four.  She's recorded over 900 wins, more than most of the successful men's coaches.

And she's fighting for an extension of her contract at Rutgers because.....

  • Because this is a "what have you done for me lately" world.
  • Because attendance keeps dropping and this year the average home attendance was 1812 (not totally Stringer's fault), which puts Rutgers outside the Top 50.  Delaware and Toledo averaged more!  And we're going into a conference that had the #2 women's hoops attendance in the country.
  • Because she keeps losing - big - to UConn (last six meetings: average 27.5 point loss margin).   I really do hate Geno Auriemma.
  • Because Louisville, Notre Dame, and others now can beat Stringer's vaunted "55" defense and have equaled or surpassed Rutgers in ability and results.
  • Because Rutgers was the fourth seed in a conference that only sent two teams to the NCAAs.  And because we're now two years in a row without an NCAA bid and five years since a Sweet 16. Yeah, what have you done for me lately?

Julie Herman has said pretty emphatically that, "She [Stringer] is going to take us into the Big Ten.  I don't know how long we will arm-wrestle over the details of a contract about what she wants and what Rutgers can do, but my intent is for (her) to lead us into the Big Ten and her intent is to do so."

But how long will that tenure last?  It was in the Big Ten where CVS had some great runs as Head Coach at Iowa.  Nine NCAA appearances in 12 years, a 269-84 record, six Big Ten outright or shared titles, and, of course, her second Final Four.  What will - what can -  Hermann and Rutgers offer and what will Stringer accept?

What do you think?  How long does C. Viv last at Rutgers?

SPECIAL NOTE: The Knights will be hosting Delaware in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday, March 20 at the RAC.  So, they aren't putting away the equipment just yet. Mea culpa.

SPECIAL NOTE 2: And on to the second round.  With a win over Delaware, the Rutgers women take on Harvard at the RAC on Monday, March 24 at 7 pm in the WNIT.  Can you say redemption and second chance?  Let's hope the women of Crimson aren't taking lessons from Tommy Amaker!

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