A few collected thoughts on recent events:
On tampering: if Mike Rosario wishes to transfer, that should remain his right and choice. However, after Fordham guard Jio Fontan supposedly received a conditional release last year barring Rutgers as an option, it's only fair that Rutgers demand the same of any program in contact with Rosario. It's not being being punitive or holding any ill will against him. If USC ended up with Fontan because Rutgers was perceived as tampering with a Fordham player, then they should not be able to turn around and benefit by tampering with Rosario.
If that's indeed what happened, this clearly is all about Rosario reuniting with Fontan, which makes last year's situation all that more frustrating. USC's program is under sanctions, and their coach Kevin O'Neill isn't exactly a Tom Izzo or Roy Williams. It's never been clear about whether or not Hill was tampering and had interest, but his team sure could have used another point guard. I supported giving Fontan an unrestricted release, but given what ended up happening, now want similar transfer restrictions here.
On rumors: While it may be a necessary component of negotiating a buyout through the media, I'm not at all comfortable with leaking allegations of potential player misconduct. Marijuana usage is fairly common, and it doesn't look great to be holding that against Hill. Sam Hellman's bit about auto theft is far more serious and disconcerting however. The leaks have worked. Everyone in the stands was already against Hill, and now you have cover from public scrutiny via the initial reports about the baseball camp. Don't dig any deeper, and tempt Hill into lashing out and dragging Rutgers into the mud publically. Anything more would be out of character from everything else the athletic department has done over the past year.
Nor am I thrilled with the standoff with Hill dragging on to Monday, and beyond if neither side budges on the buyout. Rutgers certainly needs to move on, and Hill isn't doing himself any favors in terms of future employment prospects by staying in the headlines longer than necessary.
Jon Rothstein links Gil Biruta to Seton Hall and Maryland. The Terps are already signing a lot of players this year, and I can't imagine that Rutgers will sign a release to any Big East school. I've alrady written off Rosario, but who's to say what'll happen with any recruits or other roster players until the new coach is in place. You have to hope that Fraschilla or whoever is the pick can hold off Willard at Seton Hall. Still in the process of talking myself into Fran by the way, and wondering how much of the cost of my tickets will be going to pay off his therapy and anger management courses.
Strange how Hoops Weiss deleted his post about Rutgers assistant Jim Carr following Danny Hurley to Wagner. Carr surely may need some vesitiges of security with his son's ongoing struggles with epilepsy. He wouldn't have to uproot his family for a commute to Staten Island.
More Facebook drama? Sigh. Like with Inman's rant, I disagree with quite a bit of what Jaron Griffin supposedly said.
Rutgers fans are beyond fortunate to have some of the highest quality sports media coverage in the country. I say that with absolute sincerity, having no qualms about being candid on these matters. It's no accident. New Jersey routine scores the highest on most standard education metrics. It's a highly literate state. Your property taxes are too high for a reason.
As such, the team of Keith Sargeant and Jerry Carino at Gannett have gone above and beyond over the past week in making the Fred Hill story their own in all aspects. Sargeant is working his sources, and Carino spreads the information to the masses while caring for a newborn son. While there's no shortage of quality reporting when it comes to Rutgers football, anyone who follows the Scarlet Knights knows that Sargeant's work is consistently excellent. Both have somehow managed to raise the bar yet again, and undeniably deserve recognition for their efforts when journalism awards season rolls around.
Beat reporting is an essential task. No matter how how good or bad any resulting analysis may be, that commentary cannot be anything but a creative re-interpretation wholly dependent on those published reports. Sure, I can look back at past events, and try to make guesses and inferences, but it's still hard to shake the feeling of parasitism. I have tried to steer this site towards being as independent in that regard as possible, but credit should deservedly go where it's due in these matters. Kill a tree today and buy the Home News Tribune or your own local rebranding, or a copy on Kindle/iPad/whathaveyou.
Late morning update: If the hire is Fraschilla, does that mean Darren Savino stays? Savino worked for Fraschilla at St. John's AND New Mexico. His other assistants with the Lobos were Joe Dooley (now at Kansas), and Rod Belcher (from Texas, so not really paying attention to him). Another assistant was Troy Weaver, who later left for Syracuse and then the NBA. His St. John's staff included Savino, Ron Rutledge, Brian Cousins (who left after a year to work with Rick Barnes), and then Tom Billeter.