Last night, the Rutgers athletic department hosted their second Town Hall event for students during Pat Hobbs tenure. The first one occurred back in the spring with Hobbs and football coach Chris Ash. This time the focus was basketball, as both men’s coach Steve Pikiell and women’s coach C. Vivian Stringer joined Hobbs at the Student Activities Center. Our own contributor Griffin Whitmer was on hand for most of the event, after gutting out the long line to get in. The Daily Targum’s sports editor Brian Fonseca gave some great detail as well on Twitter. The athletic department broadcast the entire event on Facebook Live. God bless social media!
This type of an event seems like a good idea and a pretty obvious way to get more students involved and excited about Rutgers athletics. However, it’s another example of positive change under the tenure of Hobbs and fills a necessary void from the past. He has proved that in many ways so far and has had a phenomenal week. First, was the announcement for the November 1st groundbreaking for the practice facility. Then was the report on the naming rights for it and a potential larger deal attached to it. He also appeared on WRSU’s “SportsKnight”, being interviewed by the Rutgers student run radio station. We have never seen such transparency and enthusiasm on the banks in quite some time from our AD, perhaps ever. The “Hobbs Effect” is a living, breathing thing that is putting life into the entire Rutgers sports community. Amen!
Here is a recap of the Town Hall event, highlighted by tweets, video, quotes, and pictures, along with some commentary.
RVision Video Recap
Were you at the Town Hall last night? Steve Pikiell, Pat Hobbs and C. Vivian Stringer got us pumped up for hoops! https://t.co/YemXKrxK25— RVision (@RVisionRU) October 21, 2016
Facebook Live Broadcast Courtesy Of The Rutgers Athletic Department
Associate AD Sarah Baumgartner Sets The Scene
Steve Pikiell Shaking Hands Of Students Waiting In Line
C. Vivian Stringer Highlights
Hobbs heaps praise on C. Vivian Stringer, who was only coach to bring 3 different programs to Final Four and is 29 wins from her thousandth.— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
Hobbs left out that CVS is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but we can let that slide.
C. Vivian Stringer returns praise to Hobbs, asks students to give him round of applause. Said this is her first chance to address students.— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
C. Vivian Stringer said she went from 25 fans in her first year at Iowa to the "first ever women's basketball sellout" in a few years.— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
Pikiell spoke about a similar experience at Stony Brook last week at Big Ten Media Day. Both coaches have built programs from scratch. Hopefully with a AD who is all in, generating interest for both programs will improve. Of course, winning helps.
C. Vivian Stringer said Rutgers has more players in the WNBA than any other program in the country.— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
I can’t confirm whether this is true or not. Rutgers has had 19 players drafted into the WNBA. UConn has had 32 players drafted. In terms of which school has the most current players in the league, I will look this up another day soon and report back.
Steve Pikiell Highlights
Pikiell said Big Ten is "best league in country" barring the NBA. Said Rutgers' playing in 3 leagues in 3 years is a Guinness World Record.— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
Pikiell has made it clear he thinks this type of instability has been a major factor in the program’s losing ways the past few years. Fair enough.
Steve Pikiell says he wants to start a role call tradition for the basketball team. Like the Yankees role call— Griffin Whitmer (@griffinwhitmer) October 21, 2016
I like this idea and I trust the Riot Squad to make this happen and to execute it the right way!
“Any new basketball traditions you’re going to start this year?”— Dave White (@Dave_White) October 21, 2016
Tremendous quote. Enough said.
“I will put the manager in the game if he plays hard.” —@CoachPikiell— Dave White (@Dave_White) October 21, 2016
It was said at media day that the men’s team has about a dozen student managers. Pikiell talked about how their enthusiasm helps the program. Let’s hope if this ever happens it’s because Rutgers is so far ahead and not due to injuries.
Pat Hobbs Highlights
“@StevePoliti is right.” - Pat Hobbs just said that.— Dave White (@Dave_White) October 21, 2016
Steve, you can retire now.
Another example of the “Hobbs Effect”, as relations with the media are far better these days!
I’m pretty sure Pat Hobbs will eventually start talking about Ghosts of Alley Past, Present and Future.— Dave White (@Dave_White) October 21, 2016
Hobbs seems determined to bring back the Alley next season and in a manner that works for everyone! Keeping the students interest’s as a priority is another positive change at Rutgers with Hobbs.
Here's the full quote from Steve Pikiell on the shelves he's having installed in his office and how he plans on using them: pic.twitter.com/3JgMCjpfCd— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
It’s a bold statement and many will find it laughable. However, Pikiell seeing it firsthand with Jim Calhoun at UConn make him believe it’s possible. I love his moxie and determination. It’s refreshing and there is no doubt he is fired up to lead this program to better days ahead.
For those curious, Pat Hobbs' full quote on the infamous "Fuck Penn State" chants heard among Rutgers students / fans at football games pic.twitter.com/ObWv4E6yMe— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) October 21, 2016
I love that Hobbs brought this up, especially with Penn State set to visit a month from now in the last home game for the football season. Our own Scott Logan wrote a great piece on why this chant should end last year. Hobbs is getting out in front of the issue this year, which is yet another example of him being proactive.
Rutgers rewards students who stayed till the end with free T shirts— Griffin Whitmer (@griffinwhitmer) October 21, 2016
This is never a bad thing!
The transparency, enthusiasm, and willingness to invest time back into the community and student body is truly remarkable. On the face of it, it seems like a basic thing that should happen at every university with their sports programs. However, as you know, this is Rutgers and that’s just not how things historically have worked at our beloved school. To quote Nobel prize winning poet Bob Dylan, “ The times they are a changing!”