Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer has the support of the Rutgers community in her position as coach of the Scarlet Knights women's basketball team. However, with her recent outspoken comments to the Star-Ledger's Steve Politi, she has opened herself up to public criticism.
One of these critics is Rutgers alumnus Richard Kent, who recently wrote the article 'Lady Knights Fall Short Again' after Rutgers lost to Purdue in the Sweet 16. Kent is the author of the Big East Women's Basketball Report newsletter, several books on women's basketball, and has a regular column at BlackAthlete.net. There was a heated reaction to Kent's comments on Rivals, so I contacted him to see if he had a response.
How about an introduction first. When did you first become interested in women's basketball, and come to write about it on a regular basis?
Chris Dailey has been a friend of mine since she was at Rutgers. She got me interested.
Your article is quite critical of C. Vivian Stringer, and the Rutgers women's basketball team. Yet, Stringer is by far the most successful coach at Rutgers in any sport. Do you think that her time has passed?
I do not feel that the time has passed Vivian but she must adjust to her players. Sure she is the most successful coach at Rutgers, but that is not the standard. She must be compared to other great women's coaches.
You're a Rutgers alumnus, and have followed RU athletics for some time. How do you respond to fans upset that you called out Coach Stringer?
No one fan has questioned one word about WHAT I wrote just that I wrote it. I bleed Scarlet. I want Rutgers to win an all sports. I am the president of my class, the president of the Rutgers Club of Connecticut and a loyal son. When I was at Rutgers, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a graduation speaker.
C. Vivian Stringer actually wrote the foreward to your book, Lady Vols vs. UConn: The Greatest Rivalry in Women's Basketball. What are your impressions of her on a personal level?
I like Vivian personally and appreciate that she wrote the foreword. I hope that her coaching has not been distracted by her book, trip to the White House or Imus.
Regardless of how appropriate those comments in Steve Politi's article were; is CVS correct in saying that the basketball facilities need significant improvements?
I do not think that the facilities are an impediment at Rutgers. It has never stopped her from getting great kids. She has gotten more kids over UConn than Tennessee has.
Is there any hope in the near future for Rutgers men's basketball under Fred Hill?
I believe in Fred and his ability to recruit New Jersey which has never happened before at Rutgers.
Incoming athletic director Tim Pernetti is taking the helm at a precarious time. His predecessor was ousted in an ugly fashion, the economy is in recession, and the athletic department (as well as the entire university) is having to make due with an increasing strain on resources. Which goals should Pernetti set as his initial top priorities, and how effective do you think he will be at accomplishing those tasks?
Pernetti can't focus solely on football.
Thanks again to Richard Kent for taking the time to respond to my questions.