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Rutgers Basketball: Why Bother?

Is this one of the darkest days in program history?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just a bad day all around for Rutgers hoops and athletics in general.

In a stunning combination or haymakers and gut punches, Rutgers basketball was seemingly dropped to its knees--or at least its fans were.

The afternoon started with Steve Lavin and St. John's mutually parting ways, which on the surface doesn't seem like it would affect Rutgers--but news that St. John's would pursue Danny Hurley, the coach Rutgers couldn't land the last time they had an opening, was a bit of an eye raiser.  The Red Storm landing Hurley (which is, granted, not definite) would prove that a local school is willing to do what Rutgers is not.

Then news came down that rising Junior Junior Etou would transfer.  Rutgers players transferring out of the program has been a killer for year--since 1999-2000 it seems that 34 players have either left or transferred out of the basketball team.  The Scarlet Knights can't try to build a program when players are constantly leaving, particularly good ones, which Etou had the potential to grow into.

But finally, came the haymaker.  Today the Rutgers Senate voted to restrict athletic spending, particularly in terms of facility building.  At this point, the argument is no longer chicken or the egg.  The facilities have to come first, and with the Senate trying to cut the ability out of Rutgers Athletics' heart--basketball will likely be doomed to years of losing... barring a miracle.

And so, Rutgers basketball's off season begins to spiral.  Though champion Senator Ray Lesniak was defiant, tweeting that the school's decision was economically short sighted (and it was), one tends to wonder if even he can get off the mat on this one.

So the team that ended the season with a major national scandal 2 years ago, a 61 point loss last year, and a 15 game losing streak this year tries to get up one more time and move forward.  But they apparently will do so with a long term approach, facilities now back to where it was when Julie spoke to the Court Club--an apparent long shot.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go put on my scarlet ball cap and foam finger and say "WOO HOOOO THE SUBSIDY IS GOING DOWN" because really... that's all we seem to have to root for.

Yay, no subsidy.

That's how college athletics works, isn't it?