Bob Mulcahy's former deputy Joe Quinlan is out as Seton Hall athletic director. He was reportedly close to being pushed aside nearly a year ago, but Bobby Gonzalez's rapid self-immolation threw a wrench into things. With SHU law dean Patrick Hobbs overseeing the search that settled on Kevin Willard, it was clear that Quinlan would still eventually be out the door, although everything had mostly been kept under wraps while Gonzalez continued to dominated the headlines with his outlandish antics.
Quinlan's tenure was certainly rocky at best. He was ripped for cutting several varsity reports. Rutgers was in a similar situation a few years back, but the specifics were handled especially poorly. He never wanted to hire Bobby Gonzalez in the first place, but his hand was forced by revolting alumni and boosters. Considering that Quinlan actually wanted to hire Tim O'Shea, who probably would have destroyed Pirate basketball. At least Gonzo left behind enough talented upperclassmen for Willard to field a bubble team this year.
While Quinlan was plucked from the Bob Mulcahy tree at Rutgers, he was viewed by most as a rule book guy, forgoing the "work the room" mentality that schools need. The person said Rutgers’ Tim Pernetti’s approach is the mold they would like to emulate.
Speaking as a Rutgers fan, is it really the best thing for Seton Hall to be always reacting to the latest hullabaloo in Piscataway?
What's interesting though is to see how fast the perception of Tim Pernetti and Rutgers athletics have changed over the past year and a half. Tim was getting slammed from day one by editorial boards as a puppet for Greg Schiano. Even the Rutgers faithful were skeptical of a hire without experience in athletics administration. Now decision makers at RU's chief basketball rival are touting Pernetti as a model, which is the direct consequence of his success at fundraising and overhauling the athletic department's image since taking over.
Seton Hall needs to be careful here, because Tim Pernetti brought many unique factors to the table, which are not easily replicated. There were some similarities with Michigan's hire of Dave Brandon, but Pernetti's media background is unprecedented, and Michigan athletics face little in the way of resource constraints. Tim isn't just the extrovert to end all extroverts, but he's also a dedicated Rutgers alumnus and football letter-winner.
Rutgers arguably hasn't even come close to tapping the breadth of his media and business experience as a high level executive at CSTV/CBS College Sports. The thinking here goes, he'll keep leveraging contacts from the fabled ROLODEX OF DOOM. The plan would be to slowly-but-steadily chip away at the glass ceiling of college athletics, until one day there's a big enough hole that Rutgers can sneak in when nobody's looking too closely.
Seton Hall might make a good hire and replicate one of two of his virtues, but they're unlikely to match or best Rutgers. Not with their resource constraints. Not when it took Rutgers athletics decades to start getting its house in order. Frankly, Seton Hall's survival up to this point is a minor miracle, mostly owing to a string of incomprehensible mistakes on our end. A fair bit is also attributable to the Big East's singular dedication to propping up non-asset programs at the expense of the conference's broader continued viability. If something ever were to happen on that front...