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Rutgers Basketball: Bullet Dodged

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A Top Candidate in the Basketball Coaching Search is fired.

2016 NIT Championship - Semifinals Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Right now, as you’re firing up your grill, popping a beer and getting ready for the second tailgate in the Blue Lot, take a moment to exhale.

Why?

Because if things had gone differently last fall, there’s a good possibility you’d be avoiding ESPN cameras, and crisis mode on Rutgers campus.

Mike Lonergan, the head coach at George Washington, has been fired. He was fired last night at 10 pm after an investigation into his behavior during practices and his interactions with the his AD and players. It’s ugly.

And if Lonergan were here, it would have looked like Rutgers was doubling down on the Mike Rice incident. At George Washington, it’s a news story—an awful one. At Rutgers, had Pat Hobbs been able to secure Lonergan, it would have been Armageddon.

Same old Rutgers to the max.

Back in July, Aaron covered how Pat Hobbs had shined by not making moves. That rings true today. Whether Lonergan pulled his own name out of coaching search after Eddie Jordan was fired or Hobbs went another way matters not. What matters is he’s not here.

If the investigation had gone the same way it went at George Washington, ESPN and the media scrutiny could have led to the destruction of the Athletic Department. Just as Rutgers was finally digging its way out of the the 3 year fallout of Mike Rice.

Let’s put this in perspective and be glad it’s not us. After reading the report on Lonergan, Steve Pikiell missing out on Jose Alvarado is not a big deal. It’s time to focus on the positive.

Enjoy your tailgate. Enjoy the game.

And, you know what? Maybe this is a sign that things are finally heading in the right direction. The program made the correct choice.

And now it needs our help. The R Fund is pushing hard to get the building basketball so desperately needs built. I’m just about due to donate again, and perhaps you should too. There are plenty of captains you can contact, including our own Bob Cancro.

Anyway, I think it’s time to flip your burger. Just be glad that while you’re doing it, an ESPN reporter isn’t trying to get your attention.