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Rumblings and grumblings

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Keith Sargent checks in on the precarious RB situation

Talk to recruiting gurus in the aftermath of Rutgers' whirlwind summer and they're unanimous in the belief that Greg Schiano and Co. are headed for the program's first Top 25 national class.'s Mike Farrell and SuperPrep's Allen Wallace -- two of the best national recruiting experts, in my opinion -- both told me just that, so it's hard to criticize anything about Rutgers' 18-and-counting '09 class to date.

Still, there is one area of need Schiano will need to address between now and the Feb. 6 national letter of intent signing day: A game-breaking tailback. While it appeared that Rutgers' coaching staff had already done that, Desmond Scott, the highly-touted rising senior from Durham, N.C., reneged on a commitment last week and plans on attending Duke instead.

Scott's decommitment, coupled with the news that Rashad White, the promising tailback who rushed for 3,800 yards and 42 TDs the past two years at Teaneck High, won't be reporting when camp opens next week, makes Rutgers' future at the running back spot that much more precarious.

More scrutiny is on the way

The state comptroller's office today opened an inquiry into fiscal practices at Rutgers University, according to two state officials with direct knowledge of the review.

The review is focused on the financial management of the university's athletics department and was triggered by Star-Ledger reports last week that detailed hidden side deals with head football coach Greg Schiano.

Rutgers was notified of the inquiry in a letter to the state university's central administration in New Brunswick. The comptroller requested a list of documents going back two years to be turned over by Aug. 11, according to the state officials, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss it with the press.

Pete McAleer, spokesman for comptroller Matthew Boxer, declined to comment.

Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said he did not have an immediate response.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) , who asked state officials to dig in to Rutgers financial administration, said the comptroller briefed her personally on the inquiry.

"He is seeking information to determine whether he's going to do an audit," said Weinberg . "I am pleased that he is looking into it. The whole thing needs a little bit of sunshine on it."

N.J. State Comptroller Matthew Boxer will investigate fiscal practices at Rutgers University.

Someone is finally taking our side, that someone being influential state senator Ray Lesniak. "Right moves the wrong way" concisely sums up RU's well-meaning but bungling and completely inept administration.

Syracuse beatwriter Donnie Webb checks in from Newport, with news of AD Daryl Gross's fir...extension?!?!?!?

ESPN's Mark Schlabech reports on the curious appeal of Newport, RI:

When your editor calls and asks you attend the Big East media days in Newport, R.I., you don't complain.

It's like when you're invited to play Augusta National Golf Club, which is an invitation I'm still waiting for. The Big East stages its preseason news conferences better than any other league in the country. There's the Atlantic Ocean. There's golf. There's lobster. There's great access to the league's coaches and players.

Eric Foster could see more opportunities in Indy. They're playing it very cautious with Freeney's health; starting tackle Raheem Brock is moving back to end. It doesn't hurt that Quinn Pitcock supposedly has not reported.

ESPN's Bruce Feldman, who always has a kind word to say about Greg Schiano and the Rutgers program, mentioned the competition to replace Ray Rice as one of 10 intriguing positional battles entering the fall (ESPN Insider sub req'd).

One Raymell Rice is opening eyes in Baltimore.

The two most impressive performances during the AM session on Saturday were those of Ray Rice and Derrick Martin. During what is sometimes described as the 4 minute drill (one that assumes the offense has a comfortable lead and their job is simply to kill the clock) Ray Rice regularly made positive yardage despite the entire defense committed to stopping the run. Tom Zbikowski knifed through regularly during the drill as a run blitzing linebacker. He was more comfortable with the assignment as practice continued. Initially he showed some hesitancy.
But back to Rice, he makes the most of limited real estate and has a knack for getting small and moving forward. On one play during the 4 minute drill, Rice converted a third and 4 with a 6 yard run between Ben Grubbs and Jason Brown. Besides his success during this drill, Rice demonstrates solid open field awareness on screens, is sure-handed and follows his blockers well. He’s an obvious student of the game judging from his sound fundamentals.