Per Luicci: it's down to Tim Pernetti, Kelly Mehrtens, and Mack Rhoades. That list looks uninspiring on the surface, but Rutgers is a difficult situation at the moment, and that could be a stumbling block to potential candidates. This is a job where the previous AD unceremoniously fired by the school's president after being given a vote of confidence (and doing exactly what the president had asked of him). Mulcahy was canned because an influential legislator threatened the entire school's purse strings. It's potentially a rewarding opportunity, but also brimming with difficulty and risk.
It's best to withhold final judgment until all the details come out over the next several days. You have to assume Chris Hill wasn't interested, and K-Mac was seen as too close to Mulcahy. Keith Sargeant's report implies that Pernetti is the favorite by quoting an anonymous source opposed to his candidacy.
""My whole goal since this process started was to see that all Rutgers sports are represented, not just football,'' the person said. ""By hiring Pernetti, you might as well hire Greg Schiano. That's why we're in this mess in the first place. I liked Bob (Mulcahy), but he could never say no to Greg.''
Football does and should come first, but that's a legitimate concern. Pernetti does come off as on the ball, but his lack of experience sticks out like a sore thumb. Would he have any interest in a role as director of football operations while being groomed for the head chair? Rick Greenspan is the most interesting name on Sargeant's list of phase one candidates, but I'd imagine that the Kelvin Sampson debacle was a red flag.
It looks like a green group, but you do have to start somewhere As a basis for comparison, I looked at several peer schools to see what credentials their athletic directors had before taking their current positions.
- Debbie Yow at Maryland worked at Florida and UNC Greensboro before getting her first AD gig at Saint Louis.
- Pitt's Steve Pederson paid his dues at Nebraska and Ohio State.
- Pederson originally came up through the football ranks, as did Tim Curley at PSU - the key differences with Pernetti being that they both had a lot more experience in administration.
- Jeff Hathaway at UConn was the K-Mac to Lew Perkins's Mulcahy, before briefly leaving for the top job at Colorado State and returning when Perkins left for Kansas.
- Craig Littlepage at UVA was a basketball coach (who did a poor job at Rutgers), before getting into administration for a decade on his way to the AD chair.
Any ideal candidate for the opening would have administrative experience at a large state school, fundraising skills, and be familiar with with the Northeast. Solely on the basis of their resumes, Mehrtens looks like an attractive candidate due to the magic words "Kansas", "Illinois", and "Miami".
Any candidates that have progressed this far presumably do want the job. The Akron Beacon says that Rhoades does.