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Knight Caps: A quick survey of all things Rutgers

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Three months! It’s been that long since we educated you on the potpourri that is Rutgers. Along with a touch of “Spanning the College World”. Here ya go.

VITALE AND THOMPKINS

The Legend of Dickie V

When Rutgers went to the Final Four in 1976, the guy who recruited most of the stars on that squad was the one and only Dick Vitale. By the time RU went to Philadelphia to face its only two losses of the season against Michigan and UCLA, Vitale had moved on to the University of Detroit as the head coach. Our Aaron Breitman wrote about the BTN program on the team that aired under the Big Ten Elite banner.

Vitale was a showman, ahead of his time for Rutgers. His greatest claim to fame to that time was as a high school coach who did very well at the now-closed East Rutherford High School. Primarily due to the talents of 6’10” Les Cason, a fact that Vitale readily admits. And after Rutgers, at Detroit, Vitale made the Titans a success, going 79-29 in four seasons, including a Sweet 16 berth in 1976-77.

The ‘76 Team on BTN

Phil Sellers, Mike Dabney, Eddie Jordan. And, of course, Vitale. If you watch the program, you hear Phil Sellers explaining how RU wasn’t ready for the “showtime” mentality that Vitale envisioned. Rutgers was playing in a (generously stated) 3,000 seat gymnasium. It was playing Delaware, Stetson, William & Mary. The administration back then - and let’s focus on Jon Newman’s “Fred” from the tweet above - just wasn’t thinking “big time”. Fred Grunninger was a nice man but Rutgers never capitalized on the Final Four run and.....well, you know the rest.

Beautiful College Ave

Designated bus lanes. Bike lanes. Ending street parking to make College Ave flow better and look better. All part of the changing face of the CAC. I like it.

R Big Build

Did you ever ask anyone for a million dollars? Me neither.

During the current R Big Build campaign, Rutgers has received several million-plus gifts. And we need (lots) more. But what’s it like to do that ask? And what does that gift mean? Ross Bjork is the AD at Ole Miss, but his first million dollar ask was when he was working at Missouri. The AD came to the fundraising guys - Bjork being one - and asked, if I need a million dollars who can we go to? The three fundraisers looked at each other and realized they had no idea. Well, they got their million and as Bjork said, it “Opened the door for transformational giving at Missouri.” The audio from D1 Ticker is worth a couple of minutes just to get the sense of what is going on “behind closed doors”.

As for “transformational giving”, it’s time for us, Rutgers fans. Keep those checks comin’.

Everybody into the pool!!

Walkowiak is on of the consistent bright spots on the team. A two-time NCAA qualifier during her career, she has broken four school records since she joined the program in 2014. At last year’s Big Ten Championships, Walkowiak placed sixth in the 3-meter dive and eighth in the platform dive.

Run, Rutgers, Run

More accolades for the 2015-16 Big Ten Indoor Freshman and Track Athlete of the Year.

Wait, I know that name.....

Kirk Ciarrocca. Of course, he’s soccer player Colby Ciarrocca’s father. And the former OC at Western Michigan. Of course, he also was co-offensive coordinator at Rutgers under Schiano. Where he worked with Fleck.

Wait, I know that acronym!

They lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ove Fleck in Minnesnota.

But, we’ve seen this, haven’t we?

Yeah, me, too, Keith.

Schiano Watch....oh, never mind

The firing of Bob Diaco - very late in the process - led to UConn opening up a search which led to former-UConn / former-Maryland coach Randy Edsall being rehired by UConn. The Bobby Petrino philosophy of coaching searches.

In two of the five “keys to the hiring game” noted in CoachingSearch.com’s article, Greg Schiano’s name appears. The question of whether the Huskies want prior head coach experience and if they want ties to the Northeast put the gap-toothed wonder in the conversation. Alas, those two keys did play out but with the hiring of Edsall, not GS.

Speaking of Mr. Edsall....

It isn’t just him. It’s in the system. But it still sucks.

Why are we playing at Yankee Stadium?

Why are six college teams playing at Fenway Park?

Well, in the case of that November 18 game, you might be surprised at which team is the “home” team. But not the reason the game is being played.

Money, money, money! Storrs to Fenway: 83 miles. Can’t wait to see the attendance for that one.

For the record, New Brunswick to Yankee Stadium: 47 miles.

And one for the road....

Seriously, does anyone really care? I mean, if you aren’t from Connecticut?