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The case against Fran Fraschilla

In the interests of equal time and being comprehensive, I have spent the past few minutes seeing what the internet has to say about rumored Rutgers coaching candidate Fran Fraschilla. There are a few things in the negative column, to balance out everything that seems to go in his favor with coaching and recruiting. As an aside, Rutgers assistant Darren Savino worked with Fraschilla at St. John's and New Mexico, where the lead assistant was Joe Dooley, who's now at Kansas.

  • I thought this was just the subject of message board fodder, but apparently the Daily News did publish a writeup on his rocky exit from St. John's, which Mike Vorkunov linked the other day.
  • Continuing the weird parallels to Fred Hill Jr., Fraschilla alleged yelled "I don't care what happened on September 11th. That's two, Lonnie." to Mountain West referee Lonnie Dixon in frustration over a peceived foul disparity in a game against Air Force.
  • Even more troubling was that New Mexico had nine player defections under Fraschilla. The final straw was a blowup with Marlon Parmer. The requisite reading here is "Fraschilla says good riddance to starter, denies threats." (Edgar Thompson, Albuquerque Tribune - Jan 23, 2002)

Parmer said Fraschilla, who served as a New York Knicks scout for 10 months before coming to UNM, threatened to sabotage Parmer's chances to drum up NBA interest.

Parmer said he recalls sitting in Fraschilla's office one day when he said the coach said, "The NBA is not something you should look forward to because I'm in control of your career, and if you don't make me happy, you're not going to get there."

Fraschilla today called that claim "ludicrous."

*Parmer said he was physically threatened by assistant coach Darren Savino during practice this season. Asked about that today, Fraschilla said Parmer "cursed a coach out that day. I don't think the coach would have ever physically done anything. We all took it personally."

*Parmer said several times when Fraschilla was unhappy with him, the coach would remind Parmer of harassment allegations made against him by a female UNM student in fall 2000. No charges were filed.

"He would always throw that in my face," Parmer said.

*He said Fraschilla felt Parmer was "too flashy" and he didn't approve of his car, which has televisions in it, or his choice in shoes.

*Parmer said Fraschilla threw items in the locker room and frequently performed tirades in practices.

"That's always been the knock on Fran," Parmer said. "You go back to St. John's, and you see why they ran him out of there."

Fraschilla was dismissed from St. John's in May 1998 after a two-year stint during which he was accused of verbally abusing his players.

During practices, a Tribune reporter has observed Fraschilla directing profanity and insults at players, kicking and throwing basketballs in anger, and engaging in a heated, profanity-laced exchange last season with now-departed Zeke Johnson.

I'm still processing all of this...

This post is in no way intended to be an endorsement or dismissal of anything. Everyone involved however should be doing the necessary legwork to make the pending hire work. The obvious connection is that Fraschilla is a more competent and capable version of Hill. I want Rutgers to make the right call, and if that's Fraschilla and he's successful, great. I'm also scared to death of getting burned again. Can't blow this.

It can't be a coincidence that the inevitable Eddie Jordan speculation is starting up.

P.S. Jersey Clicks is an invaluable resource for this site, both for this post and general research. It's funding is threatened in the pending F.Y. 2011 New Jersey budget, and that would be beyond unfortunate.