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Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Chris Laviano (5) runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Chris Laviano (5) runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Chris Laviano will be the starting quarterback for Rutgers.

First-year coach Chris Ash announced the decision on Monday, less than two weeks before the season opener at Washington.

Laviano started 11 games last season in Kyle Flood's final year as coach. He edged TCU transfer Zach Allen, fellow redshirt junior Hayden Rettig and redshirt sophomore Giovanni Rescigno for the job.

The competition for the starting job seemingly came down to Laviano and Allen. They received most of the snaps with the first team during the portions of training camp open to the media.

"He has been the guy who has shown the most consistency throughout the first two weeks of practice and had a good understanding of our offense, and become a pretty good decision-maker with the ball, the best decision maker in the group," Ash said. "Right now he has earned the trust of the staff and the other players."

Tags: Rutgers University

Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at the Hyatt Regency. (David Banks)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at the Hyatt Regency. (David Banks)

Chris Ash is coming into his first season as Rutgers coach knowing that he sure isn't at Ohio State anymore.

The Scarlet Knights' depth chart isn't very deep and the talent level isn't anywhere close to what he had as the co-defensive coordinator with the Buckeyes.

Coaching Rutgers is going to be a challenge. It is coming off a 4-8 record last season with one win in the Big Ten Conference in eight games.

Rutgers' recent success is a thing of the past. The Scarlet Knights are rebuilding.

"Got to get back in to football playing shape," Ash said after training camp opened. "We're in great conditioning shape from summer work outs, but just like most teams at this time of year, we're not in great football shape and we got to play ourselves back into that, but good start."

Ash was not as happy after the first preseason practice, so there has been some improvement in recent months.

"As we continue to go through training camp we'll have a better feel of our team, our players and our picture will become clearer," Ash said. "It's a lot clearer than when we first started, so making progress, but like I said when we first started, but like I've been saying all along still a long way."

Ash has changed almost everything since replacing Kyle Flood. The coaching staff is new, and so are the offense and defense.

"We've made a lot of changes to their bodies, but it took seven months to make a lot of those changes," Ash said. "We have to change the type of production we get on the field as football players. That doesn't happen on day one."

While there are many on-field questions that need to be answered, Ash is pleased that there are no questions about his team's off-field behavior. During last year's training camp, Flood was engulfed in an academic scandal while his players were getting arrested.

"You look at the behavior and you tell me what you see. I see a bunch of guys that want to be coached, that want to excel, that want to do things right, and they want to be good teammates and they want to represent the athletic department, and this state the right way," Ash said. "Now they have to continue that, but I like the trend that we're on right now." >> Read more...


Rutgers second-team QB Giovanni Rescigno put his best foot forward in Saturday's scrimmage. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers second-team QB Giovanni Rescigno put his best foot forward in Saturday's scrimmage. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

Second-teamer Giovanni Rescigno made the best impression among Rutgers quarterbacks Saturday as the Scarlet Knights held their first intrasquad scrimmage in Piscataway, N.J.

Chris Laviano had a better day than TCU transfer Zach Allen in the competition between the co-starters on the depth chart. Laviano was 3-for-6 passing, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to Vance Matthews and a 55-yard completion. Allen was 2-for-6 and 11 yards. Laviano ran twice for four yards, Allen three times for 10 as the Knights ran plays out of the power-spread offense being installed by new coach Chris Ash.

On Friday, Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo, the former Purdue and LSU coach, told NJ.com he thought Allen was ahead of Laviano. "If I had to decide today, I would go with Allen based on today. He definitely has a better feel for the option stuff and the formations. That obviously puts Chris at a little bit of a disadvantage."

Rescigno threw a 71-yard TD pass and ran 36 yards for a score. Hayden Rettig, who also played with the second team,  was 4-for-8 passing for 27 yards, but threw a 14-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

NJ.com reported about 1,000 fans attended the two-hour scrimmage, held in 97-degree heat on Rutgers' FieldTurf field. Rutgers, 4-8 last season under former coach Kyle Flood, opens the season Sept. 3 at Washington.

Read more about Rugters football at SNY.tv. . . . .


Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at the Hyatt Regency. (David Banks)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at the Hyatt Regency. (David Banks)

Chris Ash has given Rutgers a face lift in his first seven months as the coach.

The former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator has changed just about everything predecessor Kyle Flood did in a tenure that ended with a 4-8 season, a training camp engulfed in player arrests and the coach at the center of an academic scandal.

One thing remains - the quarterback question.

Redshirt juniors Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig are competing for starting quarterback again, along with TCU transfer Zach Allen.

Laviano won the job last season and completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Rettig went 14-of-25 for 233 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty. The LSU transfer also started the season opener after Laviano was suspended of the first half of the season opener for breaking curfew and trying to use a fake ID during training camp.

Both Ash and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Drew Mehringer have since praised Laviano for his leadership.

"He's had a lot of turmoil, well-documented, things that go on in his life," Mehringer said. "One of the things that we talked about with him - not just from this past spring semester, but throughout the summer - consistency has to be established in your life and he did that. This summer was a tribute to an individual trying to change his life and do things the right way and a credit to him."

Laviano, who declined to speak after the spring game, was more affable this week. He cracked a few smiles and gave some lengthy answers to questions.

"I'm more mature. I feel different. I am different in here and it's a very positive place," Laviano said. "I think honestly it's the consistency off the field and on the field and in the facility. It's just coming every day to work, every day to the meeting room with a positive attitude, not getting in trouble off the field, just being a quarterback all year around." >> Read more...


 (Jeffrey Becker)
(Jeffrey Becker)

Rutgers has landed recruit Eugene Omiruyi, a 6' 6" wing from Orangeville Prep.

Omiruyi, who's from the class of 2016 and will play this season, made his decision during a visit to Rutgers on Wednesday. 

He is a skilled wing with a strong body and tremendous upside.

"It's a great school with great academics and (I committed) mostly because of the coaching staff and their resume," Omiruyi said, adding that he'll "bring a great motor" he believes "cannot be matched."

Tags: Adam Zagoria

A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)
A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)

Former TCU Horned Frog Zach Allen is transferring to Rutgers and will use his last two years of eligibility as a graduate transfer, thescore.com reports. He was also considering Syracuse University, the report said.

Allen has appeared in 26 games since redshirting his freshman year, mostly as a holder for field goals and extra-point attempts. He's thrown for two passes in his TCU career, which each connected for a total of 17 yards.

He transitioned into a role as a wide receiver last year at TCU, and caught one pass for eight yards.

He is expected to play quarterback at Rutgers.


The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Wide receiver and Wayne Hills, New Jersey native Tyler Hayek has verbally committed to Rutgers, he announced on his Twitter account. 

Hayek, 6-foot-3 and190 pounds, is committed to play for the school starting in the 2017 season. 

"It felt really good to get the Rutgers offer because I went twice and I did really well twice," Hayek said, according NJ.com. "And I've just been working hard, really. So finally, I felt like everything was really paying off. So it was great."


Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski)
Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski)

Mike Vorkunov, SNY.TV
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PARAMUS, N.J. -- As the sun set on his nearly four-hour long football camp, Jim Harbaugh was still doing the same awkward dance he had been engaged in all day since he got to Paramus Catholic. At midfield he was once again asked to take a picture with a camper, this one younger and smaller than most. And again Harbaugh had to go through his usual lawyerly line of questioning.

"How old are you?"

"13?"

"You're going to be a freshman in high school?"

"Then I can't take a picture with you."

He had been saying this for almost 15 minutes now, repeating the same line almost verbatim. The camp had ended and everyone wanted a photo with the man at the middle of it -- the one who somehow turned some measly clinics into the latest match to set aflame the clumsily-governed tinder box that is college football.

The NCAA doesn't allow photos, he repeated to camper after camper who came over. Instead, he set his own policy: pats on the backs and handshakes. There was one exception, to one nearly incredulous mom.

"We're allowed to hug," Harbaugh said.

If anything encapsulated this day, it was this. Harbaugh, Michigan's mad scientist in residence, the coach who caused the NCAA even more angst by turning the Wolverines brand into a traveling road show, was carefully gauging his every step and movement as he tried to press the flesh of the governing body's arcane rules without breaking them.

The camp at Paramus Catholic promised to the biggest and most high-profile of all the camps Harbaugh has held. He's developed especially-close ties to Paramus, nabbing the top-ranked player in the country, Rashan Gary, from there in January. And Thursday he's going to be the commencement speaker at graduation.

Harbaugh's satellite camps have gobbled up the oxygen during college football's dead period. They've led to Twitter storms, press conference feuds with Nick Saban, and escalated rivalries. But over the course of an evening in Paramus, watching as the Michigan coach and dozens of other college coaches ran one banal drill after another, it was a reminder that all the fuss was about what, again?

"We're doing this because we really enjoy it," Harbaugh said. "And you can believe that or not, I don't care anymore. I'm having more fun than I've had in six months. I'm like a pig in slop out here. That's why I personally am doing it. I don't know about anybody else."

Whether you believe Harbaugh's explanation or not depends on your level of cynicism. College football coaches have hardly earned the benefit of the doubt. If anything, their actions have conditioned us to assume their every move is a means to some end. Could these camps really just be about Harbaugh and his staff getting an opportunity to get back to plain old grassroots coaching, as he and his brother, John, insist? Sure. But there are the residual benefits too, other than the headaches it causes for compliance departments.

"Everybody keeps saying the obvious thing is this is all about recruiting and I disagree," Harbaugh said. "I've disagreed with that premise from its first inception. It's not about recruiting. If it really helped recruiting that much then people would have been doing this because it's been around for 10, 20, 30 years. We're just enjoying the heck out of coaching."

Getting ornery, he adds: "We could easily recruit them from Ann Arbor. This is about doing what's good for football and what's good for youngsters. Now I've said it a million times and believe or don't believe it, I don't really care anymore, I don't know what else to say about it."

Paramus Catholic has benefited from this relationship, too. If they're not a feeder school for Michigan, it looks like something approximating it. Chris Partridge, the coach who turned the school into a nationally significant program, is now on Michigan's staff. In September, they'll play a game at Michigan Stadium.

The symbiotic relationship has brought scrutiny and headlines. When a camp in New Jersey was announced without the presence of Rutgers -- the local state school -- Rutgers responded by organizing one 37 miles away. With Ohio State coaches in tow. New Jersey's high school coaches rallied around Rutgers, according to an NJ Advanced Media report.

Though no one at the camp claimed it to be divisive, it hardly seemed to match reality. The only Rutgers paraphernalia seen at Paramus Catholic was worn by one Scarlet Knights player who came to the camp to support his brother. Artur Sitkowski, a top-ranked quarterback recruit from the 2018 class recruited by Michigan and Ohio State, said he chose the Paramus Catholic camp over the other because it was just easier to get to.

Wednesday, James Vail, the high school's principal, again asserted that Rutgers had received an invitation to the camp in good faith. He said it while wearing a makeshift, homemade Rutgers basketball hat -- because he couldn't find an actual one in stores, he said. Vail said the hat was in support of Steve Pikiell, the new Rutgers basketball coach and former high school student.

"This is not a camp, an event to promote any particular college," Vail said in his opening remarks to the camp in a packed gymnasium. "The grounds of Paramus Catholic are not a proxy war for anyone else's agenda."

Deciding on the actual aggrieved party in the dispute is not easy, but it has allowed both sides to play the victim.

"I can't speak for Mr. Harbaugh but I think he's the type of guy that knows to excel and to succeed it means at time you're going to be attacked," Vail said. "Mediocrity never gets attacked."

Perhaps, more than any other reason, these satellite camps have elicited so much attention because there is nothing else to talk about. The NFL has become a year-round sport by turning the inane into media events. College football is slowly headed that way too.

So on a cool day in Northern New Jersey in the middle of June, Harbaugh is able to steal some attention. Does it help recruiting? He says no. So does Sitkowski, even as he speaks in awe about the chance to work with the coach for an afternoon.

And no one seemed more excited than Harbaugh himself. As he stood inside the gymnasium, introduced to a whole camp who already knew his name, he screamed and panted into the microphone. He compared himself to a boxer about to fight, to a horse about to run the Kentucky Derby, and to his excitement level just before he coached in the Super Bowl. It didn't seem crazy that maybe he even meant it as he threw himself into the moment.

Then, with his final words to the assembled high school campers and their parents, he sent everyone onto the field and waded into the masses, patting backs and refusing to stop his momentum. Rich Fisherman, a Michigan fan, found him on the floor and asked to take a picture. Harbaugh told him just to take it, unwilling to look into the camera and break any NCAA code, and kept on moving.

"The compliance people said I can't look at you," Fisherman said Harbaugh told him.

Afterward, as Fisherman looked into his phone, he saw a blurry photo of the coach, looking the other way -- a selfie gone awry. He reveled in his glory. He would send this to his son.

"The guy's a rock star."

Video: Rutgers hosts Tri-State showcase

Tags: University of Michigan

The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

The Rutgers football staff extended an offer to son of former Pro Bowl punter and Super Bowl champion Jeff Feagles, Zach Feagles according to NJ.com.

Feagles, who is a punter and running back for the Ridgewood High School Maroons, is ranked the No. 7 punter in the 2017 recruiting class.

Listed at 6'2, 220 lbs, he is slightly taller and bigger than his father, who played in the Giants 2007 Super Bowl game where they beat the 18-0 Patriots.


The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides onto the field before the first half of their game against the Houston Cougars at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides onto the field before the first half of their game against the Houston Cougars at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

Yesterday, Rutgers signed former University of Miami tight end Jerome Washington.

The Princeton Junction, NJ native was granted full release from the Hurricanes to come play for the Scarlet Knights.

Washington was ranked a four-star recruit and the #1 tight end prospect in the country coming out of high school. During his time in Miami, he played in one game where he caught a 13 yard reception.

The 6'5, 262 lb product will have to sit out one year due to NCAA rules regarding transfers. He will then be eligible to play two seasons for Rutgers.


A general view of Yankee Stadium before the 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
A general view of Yankee Stadium before the 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will face the Maryland Terps in football at Yankee Stadium in 2017, according to NJ.com's Dan Duggan.

Former Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann, who was fired in November, reached an agreement with the Yankees two years ago to move the Rutgers-Maryland game in 2017 to Yankee Stadium, according to Duggan.

"(The Yankees) want to work more closely with us," new Rutgers athletic director Patrick Hobbs told Duggan earlier this week about the potenital of Rutgers playing at Yankee Stadium. "We want to look at maybe bringing a game here and announcing that sometime down the road. I guess the Yankees see Rutgers is starting to move forward and is a good story so they want to be part of it, too."

While the Old Yankee Stadium hosted many football games from the 1920s -- including the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts -- the New Yankee Stadium has hosted six Pinstripe Bowls since 2010.


 (Rob Kinnan)
(Rob Kinnan)

They join fellow transfers Kendall Stephens (Purdue) and Hallice Cooke (Iowa state). 

Meantime, Rutgers continues to look to build its roster under first-year coach Steve Pikiell, who recently added San Jacinto College forward Cândido Sá, and 6-9 forward Issa Thiem, as well as Roselle Catholic senior guard Matt Bullock.

Caleb finished fourth on the Wolfpack in scoring, averaging 11.5 points per game, while Cody averaged 6 points per game. The twins are North Carolina natives.

"Through a series of honest, thoughtful and somewhat surprising conversations we have had in the days since our season ended, Caleb and Cody have informed me of their desire to explore options that they believe are in both of their best interests," N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried said when they decided to transfer.

"While I don't share all of their views, I have certainly come to understand and respect the unique dynamic and special bond that exists between identical twins, especially when they play the same sport for the same team. I enjoyed coaching them over the past two years."


 (Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)
(Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

Rutgers University has recently settled a lawsuit with former forward Derrick Randall for $300,000, according to Jerry Carino of USA Today.

Randall sought damages for "assault and battery, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with prospective economic advantage, discrimination, and violations of his civil rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act."

The 6-foot-9, 240 pound forward, who has learning disabilities, filed the suit in 2013, eight months after Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice for mistreating his players. 

In addition to Rutgers and Rice, then-athletics director Tim Pernetti, then-assistant coach Jimmy Martelli, athletics chief financial officer Janine Purcaro, university president Robert Barchi, and Mark Hershhorn, who chaired the board of governors' committee on intercollegiate athletics at the time, were also named in the suit. 

Rutgers is also paying for Randall's expert witness fees in the amount of $6,800. However, the settlement agreement notes that there is no admission of wrongdoing by Rutgers or any of the parties named in the suit. 

In two seasons as a reserve at Rutgers, Randall averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. After the firing of Rice, Randall transferred to Pittsburgh, where he played as a reserve for his final two seasons.


 (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Ash doubted whether he would ever make it big in coaching.

Long before he became Rutgers coach, Ash played small-college football about 20 miles from the Iowa town where he grew up.

Even as he climbed the ranks to become the defensive coordinator for a national championship team, Ash still wondered if his stay-out-of-the-spotlight style would hold him back.

"The concern for me trying to get a head coaching job was I wasn't highly regarded as a hot coach," Ash said. "I'm not a guy that had been necessarily trying to self-promote himself to get his name out there and become popular with the media people or with fans.

That's not been me. I've been focused on trying to do a good job in the job that I have and see where that takes me."

That approach took the 42-year-old Ash to New Jersey, where he hopes to use what he has learned during his time at Ohio State and Wisconsin to turn Rutgers into program that can compete with those Big Ten powers. >> Read more


Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell continued to rebuild his roster with the addition of 6-foot-9 forward Issa Thiam on Monday.

Thiam initially committed to former Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan and then re-opened his recruitment after Jordan was fired.

Greg "Shoes" Vetrone, an assistant under Jordan and now in charge of player development under Pikiell, was the point man on Thiam.

"He's committed to Rutgers," Arlington Country Day coach Shaun Wiseman said by phone. "Coach Vetrone was instrumental in keeping that relationship with the former staff moving on, and Coach Pikiell coming in and keeping Shoes on board was a huge part of Issa's commitment."

Wiseman said Florida was also involved.

"If it would've opened up, there was a ton of suitors," he said.

Thiam, who averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds in 10 game at Arlington Country Day, joins Roselle Catholic guard Matt Bullock and junior college forward Cândido Sá among the new players PIkiell's staff has landed as it looks to rebuild the roster. He projects to be a rotation player behind Jonathan Laurent with the Scarlet Knights.

"He's 6-9, he's long, he's athletic, he can defend three positions," Wiseman said. "He can shoot it, he's just gotta get stronger, man, but he has a huge upside."

Tags: Rutgers University , Adam Zagoria

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer is reportedly discussing a new four-year contract. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer is reportedly discussing a new four-year contract. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer is in talks with athletic director Pat Hobbs on a new four-year contract, according to NJ.com.

Hobbs said he is making the move to assure recruits the Hall of Fame coach is staying.

Stringer, 68, signed a four-year deal with former AD Julie Hermann in 2014 that pays her $700,000 a year. Under terms of that deal, the school could have bought out Stringer after this past season or the upcoming one.

Stringer will be entering her 22nd season at Rutgers, where she has been gone 451-231 since arriving from Iowa in 1995. Stringer has taken the Knights to the Final Four twice and gone to the NCAA Tournament 15 times, but they have have missed the NCAAs three of the past four seasons. 

They won the WNIT in 2014, but were eliminated in the second round this year. Stringer is 29 wins from 1,000 for her career at Cheyney State, Iowa and Rutgers.


A general view of High Points Solutions Stadium during second half of the game between the Norfolk State Spartans and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. (Noah K. Murray)
A general view of High Points Solutions Stadium during second half of the game between the Norfolk State Spartans and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. (Noah K. Murray)

Rutgers has raised more than $50 million since the start of the year in its campaign to build new athletic facilities and upgrade others in a bid to become more competitive in the Big Ten Conference.

Athletic director Patrick Hobbs said the university has received more than $29.3 million in cash and pledges since the fundraising drive started after Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation granting $25 million of tax credits toward the building of a multisport training center - the centerpiece of the three projects in the master plan that was announced on Jan. 20.

The two other projects include a lacrosse, tennis and soccer complex and enhanced football facilities at the Hale Center.

Hobbs said university has received 10 donations of more than $1 million, including three of largest gifts to Rutgers Athletics, which combine to exceed $11 million.

The campaign has attracted 923 donors, with 71 committing more than $25,000.

"Let's say I am happy where we are and we have a lot of work to do, but 15 weeks in, I feel we are making some real progress," said Hobbs, who was hired in late November after Julie Hermann was fired in the wake of off-the-field problems with the football team.

Prior to the current campaign, the most money Rutgers raised for athletics was $14 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

During Greg Schiano's storied tenure as football coach, it could not raise $30 million for an end-zone expansion of the then Rutgers Stadium in 2008. The university eventually had to borrow some money to complete the job.

Hobbs said that 90 percent of the current donations have been earmarked toward the multisport training complex, which will be built for practice facilities for the men's and women's basketball team, wrestling and the gymnastics program.

"That facility is really important," Hobbs said. "I've talked about how that facility is not just important for the benefits that it provides our programs, but it's our signal that we are going to be competitive, we are going to compete in the Big Ten and we are going to compete in the Big Ten to win championships." >> Read more...


Rutgers linebacker Quentin Gause makes a tackle against Michigan State last season. (Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers linebacker Quentin Gause makes a tackle against Michigan State last season. (Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports)

Rutgers linebackers Quentin Gause and Steve Longa and offensive tackle Keith Lumpkin signed free agent deals with NFL teams Saturday after they went undrafted.

Gause, 23, agreed to a deal with the Eagles. Gause (6 foot, 232 pounds) was a two-year starter and senior co-captain who had a career-high 96 tackles and was honorable mention All-Big-Ten.
 
Lumpkin (6-7, 315) signed with the Bills. He was a three-year starter at Rutgers. Last year, former Rutgers lineman Kaleb Johnson made the Ravens as an undrafted agent and finished the season with the Browns.

Longa (6-1, 241), who passed up a final year of eligibilty, signed with the Seahawks. He was the second player in Rutgers history with 100-plus tackles in three straight seasons.

Running back Paul James got a minicamp invitation from the Browns. Former Rutgers halfback Savon Huggins, who played at Northern Iowa last year, got a mincamp tryout with the Packers.


Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell and his staff landed junior college forward Candido Sa. (Jeffrey Becker)
Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell and his staff landed junior college forward Candido Sa. (Jeffrey Becker)

Candido Sa, a 6-foot-9 forward from San Jacinto-Central, has committed to Rutgers, a source has told SNY.TV. He will be eligible immediately and has two years to play. 

Sa averaged 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field for San Jacinto, a community college based in Houston, TX. 

Greg "Shoes" Vetrone was the lead recruiter for Sa this past year while he was an assistant coach, and head coach Steve Pikiell has visited Sa at San Jacinto. 

"He's a 4/5 that can stretch the defense with a good stroke from three," San Jacinto head coach Scott Gerander said about Sa.

Sa was scheduled to visit Texas this weekend, but after the trip was pushed back, he decided to commit to Rutgers. 

Rutgers currently has only seven scholarship players, thus Sa will add frontcourt depth. The staff is continuing to look to add transfers and graduate transfers.


Janarion Grant was the star of Rutgers' Scarlet-White game Saturday. (Noah K. Murray)
Janarion Grant was the star of Rutgers' Scarlet-White game Saturday. (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Whenever Julian Pinnix-Odrick sees Chris Ash in the hallways of Rutgers' football center, the fifth-year senior tells his first-year coach that it's OK to smile.

Ash has cracked a few smiles in wrapping up his first spring practice on Saturday night in front of 14,177 fans.

His focus, though, is overhauling a program derailed by an academic scandal and player arrests and providing structure for the future.

"When it's grind time he makes sure that we're in line and ready to grind," Pinnix-Odrick said.

Wide receiver Janarion Grant was the star of the scrimmage, with 11 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. He also had two carries for six yards in the fans' first view of Ash's new power spread offense as the Scarlet (first team) beat the White (second) 33-20.

Both quarterbacks had a touchdown pass with no interceptions. Chris Laviano was 16-for-29 for 240 yards, Hayden Rettig 13-for-22 and 186 yards.

Wide receiver Andre Patton was the second-leading receiver, with nine catches for 112 yards. Carlton Agudosi had three catches for 83 yards and a score.

Running backs Justin Goodwin (59 yards) and Robert Martin (48) each had 12 carries and a touchdown. Kicker David Bonagura was 2-for-4 on field goals, hitting from 32 and 38 yards and missing from 36 and 49.

Read more. . . .


Following LB Quentin Gause 00:04:53
SNY follows former Rutgers linebacker Quentin Gause as he prepares for the NFL Draft.

SNY follows former Rutgers linebacker Quentin Gause as he prepares for the NFL Draft.


Brandin Knight reacts on the sidelines against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. (Charles LeClaire)
Brandin Knight reacts on the sidelines against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. (Charles LeClaire)

Brandin Knight will join the Rutgers basketball team as an assistant coach, the school announced.

"I am thrilled to welcome Brandin to the Rutgers basketball family," new head coach Steve Pikiell said in a statement. "He is one of the premier young coaches in the country. Brandin has developed an excellent reputation as a high-level recruiter and a tremendous teacher of the game. He brings a passion and expertise in developing players that will be infectious to our program."

Knight joins Rutgers from Pittsburgh, where he also served as an assistant coach. According to RU, the Panthers compiled a 252-101 (.714) record and reached the postseason all 10 seasons with Knight on staff. Pitt won the 2008 Big East Championship, earned two NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds (2009 & 2011) and captured the 2011 Big East regular season title.

"The opportunity to join a Big Ten staff in my home state under the leadership of Coach Pikiell is very exciting," Knight said in a statement. "I can't wait to help bring winning back to Rutgers."

At Pitt, Knight also served the 2007-08 and 2006-07 seasons as Director of Men's Basketball Operations and Program Assistant/Video Coordinator, respectively.

"Brandin is a coach who knows the area and has recruited this area for a number of years," Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv. "I think he'll help Rutgers recruiting for sure. "

Knight is originally from East Orange, New Jersey.

"Brandin and I have a very good relationship," Sports U coach Brian Coleman said to SNY.tv. "I know he will look out for the kids and take good care of them. I think it will help Rutgers get involved with our kids."


 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Steve Pikiell has gone back to his ties at Stony Brook and hired long-time assistant Jay Young as an assistant coach at Rutgers.

Young spent 11 seasons working as an assistant on Pikiell's Stony Brook staff, including the last seven as associate head coach.

This past season, Young was instrumental in the Seawolves achieving a 26-7 record that featured the America East Conference regular and post-season titles and an NCAA Tournament berth. He served as their defensive coordinator and frontcourt developer.

Young served five seasons as coach at New Haven prior to Stony Brook. He has also served as an assistant coach at Northeastern, Salem State College and Fitchburg State. He also was the coach at Newbury from 1992-96.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

 


New Rutgers associate head coach Karl Hobbs is shown during his tenure as head coach at George Washington. (Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE)
New Rutgers associate head coach Karl Hobbs is shown during his tenure as head coach at George Washington. (Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE)

HOUSTON -- Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell opted to stay within his UConn family and hire Karl Hobbs as his associate head coach.

A former UConn starting point guard (1980-84) and captain, Hobbs just finished his 13th season as a UConn assistant coach in two separate stints: 1993-2001 and 2011-2016. During 2011-12, he served as the Director of Basketball Administration). In between, he spent 10 years as the head coach at George Washington University, directing the Colonials to 166 wins, two Atlantic 10 Tournament titles and three straight NCAA Tournament berths.

"I'm a lucky guy to have had the chance to return to my alma mater and enjoy such great success," Hobbs said. "While at UConn, I had the opportunity to be a part of two incredible eras of national championship basketball with legendary coach Jim Calhoun and with Kevin Ollie, who is also a phenomenal head coach. Not many people can say that they have been fortunate enough to leave and come back and win again so, I'm incredibly grateful. I'm also very appreciative of the entire UConn family, which has given me so much as a former student, an alumnus, and now as a coaching professional.  

"I am moving on to another very competitive program at Rutgers where I will be able to coach alongside my longtime friend and fellow Husky alum, Steve Pikiell. As always, I want to bring out the best in each student/athlete and help them work hard to be their best. I am excited about the opportunity and look forward to taking my expertise to Rutgers."

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Chris Ash bounced from drill to drill at his first spring practice as Rutgers' new football coach Thursday, alternating from offense to defense, offering encouragement and warnings to his players.

"Finish every play," he said, later adding: "If you don't finish, you won't be here."

Music blasted inside the practice bubble for the entire hour the media was permitted to watch.

Ash's wife and infant son along with his mother-in-law were on the sidelines. So were athletic director Pat Hobbs and booster Ron Garuitti, who, along with his wife, Joanna, donated $1.25 million to overhaul the weight room in the Hale Center. Most of his time in New Jersey has been spent in his office.

"Honestly, I was just trying to do what we've been doing and get the guys better every single day. My emotions were gone," the former Ohio State defensive coordinator said. "I had the press conference back in December when I was hired as the head football coach and that was an emotional day, but outside of that day it's been focus and blinders on and try and figure out the things we need to do each day to get better and today was no different." >> Read more

Tags: Rutgers University

GEICO SportsNite: Steve Pikiell 00:00:53
Rutgers introduced Steve Pikiell as their new men's basketball head coach, and he talked about improving the program from last year.

Taking a program from worst to first has been Steve Pikiell's trademark in basketball.

He did it as a player at Connecticut under Jim Calhoun. He did it as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State and George Washington, then again as a head coach in transforming little Stony Brook from an also ran to a perennial power in the American East Conference.

Now comes the biggest challenge for the 48-year-old: changing Rutgers from the worst school in the Big Ten to one that can dance with the best of them after a 25-year absence from the NCAA Tournament.

The Scarlet Knights posted a 7-25 record this past season, which led to the firing of Eddie Jordan after just three years. They won one Big Ten game this year and three in their first two years in the league.

"I've never let an athletic director down, I've never let a president down and I've never let a student body down," Pikiell said after being introduced as Rutgers sixth head coach since 1997. "I'm not going to do it here at Rutgers. I embrace challenges."

During his tenure at Stony Brook, the Seawolves won four America East regular season championships, achieved 22 or more victories on six occasions and captured five conference player of the year awards. A four-time America East coach of the year, Pikiell compiled a 119-48 (71.3 percent) record over the past five seasons.

Rutgers has not had a winning season since 2005-06 and only five since going to the NCAA Tournament in 1991.

"I don't think we could have hired as basketball coach who did not see the challenge and the opportunity here," Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi said. "If anybody walked in here and thought they were going to the NCAA (Tournament) next year, we didn't want them. If anybody came here and we couldn't do it in the next 10 years, I didn't want him either."

Barchi said the university wanted a coach who saw the potential of the program, and that's what they found in Pikiell.

Athletic director Pat Hobbs understands that Pikiell is going to struggle starting recruiting this late, noting he won only four games in his first season at Stony Brook.

"He has been at programs that were challenged, programs that people felt could not come up off the carpet," Hobbs said. "He is not going to be intimidated by anything he experiences here." >> Read more…


Rutgers is set to introduce Steve Pikiell as its new head men's basketball coach during a press conference on Tuesday.

Here are five suggestions on what Pikiell -- who this year led Stony Brook to its first NCAA Tournament bid -- needs to address immediately.

1. Attend Monday's TOC Final

Wouldn't it make quite a statement if the new Rutgers coach showed up at the Sun Bank Center in Trenton tonight (Monday) to watch the Tournament of Champions final between St. Anthony's and Linden?

The game just happens to feature arguably the two best high school coaches in the Garden State in Bob Hurley (winner of 12 TOCs) and Phil Colicchio. Pikiell should go and greet both coaches and sit courtside to show he's on top of New Jersey hoops from the get-go.

"I really don't know Steve," Hurley told me this weekend. "They really haven't recruited any kids from our school recently."

Asked if the Rutgers coach needs to recruit the state, Hurley quipped, "You would think, yeah. It's the State University. He hasn't been that far away. He's been in Long Island. He's done a good job. His coaching record is very good and he's gotta develop a familiarity here in state."

2. Bring in Jim Calhoun as an advisor

The former UConn coach and Hall of Famer told me this weekend that his former point guard was "a great choice" for Rutgers.

"I think it's a great day for Rutgers," Calhoun said. "He's a great combination of a lot differrent things. He brings winning, he has tenacity, [he] built a program, and I think it's a great day for Steve and for Rutgers."

Calhoun said he had spoken several times to both Pikiell and Rutgers AD Pat Hobbs. What if Pikiell were to make Calhoun some kind of special advisor to the program, similar to what Gene Keady was to Steve Lavin at St. John's? Calhoun would bring instant credibility and a knowledge of the Northeast.

3. Add some sex appeal to the program

Right now, Rutgers basketball has no buzz nationally or even regionally. Zero, zip, nada.

The biggest buzz its gotten in recent days may have been when I asked Bill Murray about the job at Madison Square Garden and the comedian said, "I'll take the Rutgers job for three years but then I gotta get back to work."

Told by ESPN's Jeff Goodman that Pikiell had filled the job, Murray said on ESPN, "It's been filled? No phonecall."

OK, so Rutgers won't have the former "Caddyshack" star hanging around games the way he did for his son Luke Murray at Xavier, but Rutgers can make things more interesting for recruits.

What about bringing in Chris Smith in some sort of graduate assistant position? Then you might have the support of people like Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith, Giants wideout Victor Cruz (who played AAU ball with J.R.) and NJ Playaz director Jimmy Salmon.

You don't think recruits in New Jersey would take notice if those guys were at a game or an event on campus?

4. Visit and offer the 2018 and '19 kids immediately

Seton Hall made a bold and strong move by making a 'Fab Five' offer to the Class of 2018 kids from the Sports U AAU program: Naz Reid, Luther Muhammad, Jahvon Quinerly, Atiba Taylor and Louis King.

Rutgers, as I reported earlier this year, never offered them as a group and barely had those kids on campus under former coach Eddie Jordan. Seton Hall had them there. All. The. Time.

Should Rutgers offer the 'Fab Five' right away?

"I would," Sports U director Ed Bright told me this weekend. "I would."

There you go.

PIkiell and his staff should immediately visit those kids -- along with Class of 2019 kids like Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis of the Ranney school -- as well as their high school and AAU coaches.

"He's got to start recruiting young," Bright said. "Right now we have the top sixth-, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders in our program. He's got to get to know those families, the kids. Everybody wants our 2018 unit, everybody wants them, but he's gotta focus on 2019."

Oh, and while they're at it, it's probably not a bad idea to visit with uncommitted Roselle Catholic senior guard Matt Bullock, too. All that kid's done is win four New Jersey state titles and two TOCs.

"They've gotta get something before the year's done, I don't know if there's anybody still loose," Hurley said. "They need to add to the roster, and then start the rebuilding process for the future."

5. Meet with the area's top high school and AAU coaches immediately

When Chris Mullin got the job at St. John's, he brought in many of New York's top high school and AAU guys and shared a single message.

"Chris Mullin brought us all in and he said, 'Listen, we can do all the things we want to do right here at St. John's University,'" Bright said. "He brought in Matt Abdelmassih, who did a great job at Iowa State [as an assistant], he brought in Slice [Barry Rohrssen], he brought in guys who have been here, done it, and can get in the trenches. And Rutgers can't be high and lofty, either. They've gotta have guys who get in the trenches with us."

"It's not just New Jersey, he has to go into New York," Bright added before Pikiell was hired. "He's gotta deal with Munch [Terrance Williams of the PSA Cardinals], he's gotta deal with [Dana] Dingle [of the NY Lightning], he's gotta deal with Andy [Borman of the Rens], he's gotta deal with these guys. He's gotta bring them all together and say, 'Listen, we can do everything we want to do right here in New Jersey.'"

So Pikiell needs to immediately meet or reach out to everyone I've mentioned above, along with guys like Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff (who I'm told he's already spoken with), St. Pat's coach Chris Chavannes, Hudson Catholic coach Nick Mariniello, Blair Academy coach Joe Mantegna, Pope John XXIII coach Jason Hasson, Seton Hall Prep coach Kevin Williams, as well as New York guys like Cardozo's Ron Naclerio, Christ the King's Joe Arbitello, Mount Vernon's Bob Cimmino, Thomas Jefferson's Bud Pollard and Lincoln's Tiny Morton.

All you have to do is look at the NCAA Tournament to see all the talent that came from New York and New Jersey playing for other schools.

Sports U alone had 13 kids in the Big Dance, including Maryland's Jared Nickens, St. Joe's DeAndre' Bembry, Temple's Josh Brown, Vanderbilt's Wade Baldwin and Wichita State's Markis McDuffie.

There has always been talent in the Garden State. Pikiell's challenge -- like that of Eddie Jordan, Mike Rice, Freddie Hill and Gary Waters before him -- is to keep it home.

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 (Jeffrey Becker)
(Jeffrey Becker)

Steve Pikiell has been hired as the new Rutgers head basketball coach and will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.

Steve Politi of NJ.com was the first to report the news.

Pikiell, 48, took a four-win Stony Brook team and led them to their first NCAA Tournament in school history this season. 

Pikiell will replace Eddie Jordan after Jordan coached the team for three seasons, culminating in a seven-win season which led to his dismissal. The Scarlet Knights have won just three games in the Big Ten since joining the conference.

Throughout his 11 seasons as head coach of Stony Brook, Pikiell earned a 190-155 record, including this past season where the Seawolves went 24-6. 

"I think Steve is a great hire," Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff, who coached Stony Brook star Jameel Warney, told SNY.tv. "My experience with him recruiting Jameel, he was on top of it all the time. They offered him very early but then they were still there and came to all of our big games and were constantly checking in on him, so I thought that they did a great job in terms of the recruitment of him.

"I also know that Steve was really a catalyst behind getting a new facilty at Stony Brook so he's shown an ability to get things like that done and so for those I reasons I think he should be successful."

During his playing days, Pikiell was a two-year captain for UConn from 1987-1991. That Huskies team won their first Big East title and advanced to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16, with Pikiell leading the way at point guard. Pikiell also worked under Jim Calhoun at UConn for two seasons. 

"He might still be [at Stony Brook] because he loves it there," Calhoun said earlier this week. "Clearly, he's had a few opportunities before. He's called me about them, but now I would think there will be more opportunities. As a coach and a person, he checks all the boxes."

The Pikiell hire comes a few days after a few of Rutgers' top candidates withdrew their names from consideration. Both Rhode Island's Dan Hurley and George Washington's Mike Lonergan were being linked to the open position, but they each took themselves out of the race. 

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Rutgers has narrowed its head coach search down to three candidates, reports Steve Politi of NJ.com (Mar. 18)

The three candidates are Tim Cluess of Iona, Mike Lonergan of George Washington, and Steve Pikiell of Stony Brook.

Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley, who Rutgers offered a six-year deal worth roughly $2 million per year, turned down their head coaching offer on Thursday.

Rutgers fired head coach Eddie Jordan last Thursday.

 

 


 (Amber Searls)
(Amber Searls)

Dan Hurley has turned down an offer to become the Rutgers men's basketball coach and will remain at Rhode Island, a source confirmed to SNY.tv.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported the news first.

Rutgers offered Hurley a six-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $2 million annually, sources said. He could be in line for a significant raise at Rhode Island, where he will make a guaranteed $1 million per season by 2017-18. His current contract there runs through the 2021-22 season.

After firing Eddie Jordan last Thursday, Rutgers AD Pat Hobbs must now turn to other potential candidates, including ESPN analyst Jay Williams, Iona coach Tim Cluess, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, George Washington coach Mike Longeran and Montverde (FL) Academy coach Kevin Boyle.

Williams and Lonergan spoke with Rutgers on Monday, although neither was a formal interview, sources told SNY.tv. CSNMidAtlantic.com reported Lonergan interviewed. GW plays Hofstra Wednesday in the first round of the NIT tournament. Hurley and Lonergan share the same agent, Jordan Bazant.

Cluess and Pikiell are busy this week coaching in the NCAA Tournament.

Hobbs told me Saturday night at the Big East championship that he hopes to have this done soon.

"I want to get to the next level this week," he said. "Want to try to get it done this week."

Hurley, 43, would have been facing his third major rebuild in seven years at Rutgers following successful turnarounds at Wagner and Rhode Island. Though Hurley was able to turn those programs around in relatively short order -- he has a 100-86 career mark in six seasons at Wagner and Rhode Island -- he remained conflicted about whether he wants to do it for a third time -- even in his own home state.

Hurley remains very close with Rhode Island junior guard E.C. Matthews, who suffered a knee injury on the first night of the season and missed the remainder of the year. Matthews is an NBA Draft prospect who remains the centerpiece of a young and talented Rhode Island team that also includes Hassan Martin, Stan Robinson, Jared Terrell, Kuran Iverson and Jarvis Garrett. The Rams also add several key recruits and should have Top 25 potential next season.

"If everyone's back and healthy, we have the best roster in the league," Hurley said Monday on his radio show.

A year from now Hurley could be in position for a much higher-profile job than Rutgers.

"I don't know why he'd risk taking Rutgers when he can get something much better if he waits," one source said.

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 (Aaron Doster / USA Today Sports)
(Aaron Doster / USA Today Sports)

Dan Hurley becoming the next Rutgers head coach is "not a foregone conclusion" as Hurley weighs his options, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.

"This is still in Hurley's court until he says otherwise," a second source said.

In the meantime, Rutgers AD Pat Hobbs is considering several other potential candidates, including ESPN analyst Jay Williams, Iona coach Tim Cluess, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, George Washington coach Mike Lonergan and Montverde (FL) Academy coach Kevin Boyle, sources said.

Hobbs spoke with Williams and Lonergan on Monday, although neither was a formal interview, sources said. CSNMidAtlantic.com reported Lonergan interviewed. GW plays Hofstra Wednesday in the first round of the NIT tournament. Hurley and Lonergan share the same agent, Jordan Bazant.

Cluess and Pikiell are busy this week coaching in the NCAA Tournament. Boyle, the former St. Patrick's High School coach, remains an intriguing long shot

Hobbs told me Saturday night at the Big East championship that he hopes to have this done soon.

"I wanna get to the next level this week," he said. "Wanna try to get it done this week."

Hurley, 43, would be facing his third major rebuild in seven years at Rutgers following successful turnarounds at Wagner and Rhode Island. Though Hurley was able to turn those programs around in relatively short order -- he has a 100-86 career mark in six seasons at Wagner and Rhode Island -- he remains conflicted about whether he wants to do it for a third time -- even in his own home state.

Making the situation more complicated is that Hurley remains very close with Rhode Island junior guard E.C. Matthews, who suffered a knee injury on the first night of the season and missed the remainder of the year. Matthews is an NBA Draft prospect who remains the centerpiece of a young and talented Rhode Island team that should have Top 25 potential next season.

If Hurley were to stay at Rhode Island, a year from now he could be in position for a much higher-profile job than Rutgers.

"I don't know why he'd risk taking Rutgers when he can get something much better if he waits," the second source said.

Rutgers is offering Hurley in the neighborhood of $2 million annually for six years, a significant bump from his current salary at Rhode Island. Hurley will make a guaranteed $1 million per season by 2017-18 at Rhode Island, a raise from his 2014-15 salary of $630,000.

"Everyone in the state wants him and Rutgers is the state school," a third source said of Hurley. "I think their fan base would be disappointed if [Hobbs] doesn't hire him."

Said a fourth source: "Every day that passes is less likely that Danny takes the job."

Meantime, Hobbs spoke with Williams on Monday, sources confirmed.

"I think Jay elevated himself from a courtesy call and into a legitimate candidate if Hurley bows out," the second source said.

St. Benedict's Prep coach Mark Taylor coached Williams at St. Joe's and believes he'd be a solid hire.

"Jay is more than qualified," Taylor said. "He's a great player who played at every level and succeeded. He has a tremendous network and has made all the right contacts as an ESPN analyst over the past five years. He will be fine."

Williams is a Plainfield, N.J., native who has no coaching experience but has ties to the area. He played at St. Joe's-Metuchen High School and chose Duke over Rutgers, ultimately leading Duke to the 2001 NCAA championship and getting drafted No. 2 overall in 2002.

After a motorcycle accident ended his career prematurely, he ultimately became a broadcaster for ESPN.

Coaches -- especially guards -- with no coaching experience have become trendy picks as coaches in recent months.

Knicks President Phil Jackson initially tabbed Steve Kerr as his top option to coach the Knicks, but Kerr chose to coach the Golden State Warriors instead. Kerr led the Warriors to the NBA championship in 2015 and they remain the favorites in 2016.

On the other side, Jackson did hire Derek Fisher, who also had no coaching experience, and Fisher was fired in February after posting a record of 40-96 in one-plus seasons.

St. John's returned to its roots last season to hire Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, who also had no coaching experience. In his first season at his alma mater, Mullin went 8-24, 1-17 in the Big East. The Johnnies do have the No. 1 recruiting class in the Big East for 2016 and return a core of talented young players.

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ESPN commentator Jay Williams (Denny Medley/USA Today Sports Images)
ESPN commentator Jay Williams (Denny Medley/USA Today Sports Images)

Former Duke player and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams is interested in the Rutgers coaching vacancy, according to SLAM Magazine's Leigh Klein.

Williams was the No. 2 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft before a motorcycle accident cut his playing career short.

Rutgers fired Eddie Jordan on Thursday after the Scarlet Knights went 7-25 this season and lost 17 games in a row at one point.

Other names who have surfaced in Rutgers' coaching search have included Dan Hurley and Steve Masiello, among others.


Nov 30, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Eddie Jordan reacts as his team loses 69-68 to Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports (Jim O'Connor)
Nov 30, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Eddie Jordan reacts as his team loses 69-68 to Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports (Jim O'Connor)

NEW YORK -- Rutgers fired men's basketball coach Eddie Jordan after three unsuccessful seasons on Thursday and is expected to target New Jersey native and Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley as its No. 1 choice to replace him, sources told SNY.tv.

Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey was the first to report Jordan's firing.

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello is also strongly interested in the job and would take less money if Rutgers cannot come to financial terms with Hurley, sources said.

Both are young, hungry, aggressive coaches with tremendous connections who would get after it on the recruiting front and try to turn around a program that hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991.

"Dan Hurley would be an absolute home run for Rutgers," one Division 1 coach said.

Jordan, 61, coached his final game Wednesday night, an 89- 72 loss to Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis that dropped the Scarlet Knights to 7-25 on the season.

Jordan initially signed a five-year contract in 2013 and made $1.15 million this season, according to the Asbury Park Press. His buyout is $2.065 million as opposed to the full amount owed of $2.95 million over his fourth and fifth seasons, the paper reported.

Hurley, 43, will coach Rhode Island (17-14, 9-9 Atlantic 10) Thursday night in an A-10 tournament game against UMass at Barclays Center. He takes a career record of 62-63 into that game with no NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons at Rhode Island and Wagner.

Hurley is a former Rutgers assistant coach and has deep ties to the Garden State. During his nine-year tenure at St. Benedict's Prep (2001-2010), he compiled a 223-21 record, developed four McDonald's All-Americans, and coached the Grey Bees to four top five finishes in the national rankings. His father, Bob Hurley, is the legendary Naismith Hall of Fame coach at St. Anthony's, which has won 12 New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles.

Dan Hurley was in the mix for the Rutgers job back in 2013 after the school fired Mike Rice, but the school could not come up with enough money to lure him away from Rhode Island after his first season there and ultimately hired Jordan. A year ago, he signed an extension at Rhode Island through the 2021-22 season.

Now, under new athletic director Pat Hobbs, the school would need to offer Hurley in the neighborhood of $2 million annually for six years, sources said. Hurley will make a guaranteed $1 million per season by 2017-18 at Rhode Island, a raise from his 2014-15 salary of $630,000.

"I think they'll definitely get close to that $2 million number," one source said. "Money's not going to be an issue."

"I don't know how you turn that down [if you're Hurley]," a second Division 1 coach told SNY.tv of a possible return home. "There aren't too many people who are perfect for that job."

Hobbs, who was hired to replace Julie Hermann in November, is expected to move quickly. In December, he hired a new football coach, Chris Ash, eight days after Kyle Flood was fired three years into a five-year deal. Ash and Hurley have the same agent, Jordan Bazant.

St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt, George Washington's Mike Lonergan, Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell, Iona's Tim Cluess and former N.C. State and Arizona State coach Herb Sendek are considered possibilities after Hurley and Masiello.

A star of the 1976 Rutgers Final Four team and a former NBA coach, Jordan was hired in 2013 to stabilize his alma mater after Rice was fired for being shown verbally and physically abusing his players on videotape. But Jordan struggled mightily in his time at Rutgers and never gained recruiting momentum in the fertile territory of New Jersey. He finished with a record of 29-68 in three seasons, 8-46 in the Big Ten.

Before the Scarlet Knights beat Minnesota at home on the final day of the season, they had dropped 32 straight Big Ten games.

Hobbs is a very smart, shrewd guy who oversaw the Seton Hall athletic department as Dean of the Law School. He hired Kevin Willard, who in his sixth season has guided the Pirates to their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2006.

Now Hobbs will need to meet with Hurley and persuade him that Hobbs has the vision to take Rutgers boldly into the future in the Big Ten by fundraising and vastly improving the school's facilities.

Hurley, meantime, must decide whether he wants to go home (his wife Andrea is also from New Jersey) and make more money in a bigger league, or stay at a smaller school where he could have a potential Top 25 team in 2016-17. If he were to stay at Rhode Island and do well, Hurley could potentially be in the mix for bigger BCS jobs in the future. If he chooses Rutgers, he would have to be convinced it could compete with the league's big boys down the road.

Rhode Island was expected to be a Top 25-type team this year but lost star guard E.C. Matthews to a knee injury the first game of the season and recently lost forward Hassan Martin for the remainder of the season. The 6-7 Martin is a Staten Island native who was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

The Rams have a young team returning next season, and also have four players committed for next season in bigs Michael Tertsea and Mike Layssard, power forward Cyril Langevine and guard Jeff Dowtin. Langevine plays for New Jersey parochial power St. Patrick's.

Still, if Rhode Island were to release them, several of the team's current players and signed recruits could follow Hurley to Rutgers.

If Hobbs cannot come to terms with Hurley, Masiello would be a strong hire.

Masiello just agreed to a four-year extension at Manhattan, where his base salary is $400,000. Sources said he would take in the neighborhood of $1 million annually with an incentive-laden contract at Rutgers.

A White Plains, N.Y., native and former Rick Pitino assistant, Masiello is 92-70 in five years at Manhattan, with two NCAA Tournament appearances. 

He knows his way around New York and New Jersey, too. As an assistant under Pitino at Louisville, he recruited Earl Clark, Derrick Caracter, Samardo Samuels, Edgar Sosa and Russ Smith to the school. (Samuels came out of St. Benedict's Prep, where he was coached by Hurley.)

In 2014, Masiello's stock exploded to the point where he was offered the job at South Florida, which would've paid him $6.2 million over five years.

But when it was discovered during a background check that Masiello had never graduated from Kentucky, the entire storyline flipped.

Not only did South Florida back out of hiring Masiello (they ultimately hired Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua), but Manhattan placed Masiello on leave in late March and his future seemed uncertain.

In April 2014, Manhattan reinstated Masiello and by May he had completed his degree work at Kentucky.

If Hurley takes the Rutgers job, Masiello would be a possibility to replace him at Rhode Island.

"If Dan Hurley gets the job, Rutgers will be fine," one source said. "If Steve Masiello gets the job, Rutgers will be fine."

 

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Shavon Shields scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead No. 11 seed Nebraska to an 89-72 victory over 14th-seeded Rutgers Wednesday night in first round action of the Big Ten tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Tai Webster had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and the Cornhuskers (15-17) advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals where they will meet No. 6 seed Wisconsin.

It was the Cornhuskers' third victory over Rutgers this season and ended their five-game losing streak. Nebraska's last victory was at home against Penn State on Feb. 13. >> Read more

Tags: Rutgers University

The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides onto the field before the first half of their game against the Houston Cougars at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides onto the field before the first half of their game against the Houston Cougars at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

Rutgers announced its football gameday theme and ticket promotion schedule on Monday.

Rutgers has seven home games for the 2016 season: Sept. 10 against Howard, Sept. 17 against New Mexico, Sept. 24 against Iowa, Oct. 8 against Michigan, Oct. 15 against Illinois, Nov. 5 against Indiana and Nov. 19 against Penn State.

Its home opener will be military appreciation day, Sept. 17 will be first responders day, Sept. 24 family weekend, Oct. 15 homecoming and Nov. 5 senior day.

Tags: Rutgers University

Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Mike Williams goes to the basket in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Center. (Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports Images)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Mike Williams goes to the basket in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Center. (Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports Images)

 

Rutgers ended a 32-game losing streak in the Big Ten Conference and a 17-game overall skid with a 75-52 victory over undermanned Minnesota on Saturday behind a career-high 29-point performance by Mike Williams.

The victory was the first in conference for the Scarlet Knights since a 67-62 win over No. 4 Wisconsin on Jan. 11, 2015. It was their first win overall since beating Massachusetts-Lowell on Dec. 28.

Corey Sanders and Bishops Daniels added 12 points apiece in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Minnesota (8-22, 2-16) never had a chance despite beating Rutgers 83-61 on Feb. 23. Gophers coach Richard Pitino suspended guards Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer for the rest of the season before the next game, stemming from a sexually explicit video that appeared on Dorsey's social media accounts.

The Gophers were left with eight players, including three walk-ons. >> Read more

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Bryn Forbes scored a career-high 33 points, hitting a conference record 11 3-pointers, and No. 2 Michigan State woke up in the second half to rout Rutgers 97-66 on Wednesday night, handing the Scarlet Knights their 17th straight loss.

Eron Harris added 15 points, Denzel Valentine 14 for Spartans (25-5, 12-5 Big Ten), who made 16 3-pointers in winning their fifth straight game and ninth in 10. Matt Costello had 10 points and matched his career-best with 15 rebounds.

Forbes' 11th 3-pointer was banked home and it broke the single-game record of 10 set by John Diebler of Ohio State against Penn State in 2011. >> Read more

Tags: Rutgers University

Northwestern Wildcats guard Sanjay Lumpkin, Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Justin Goode and Knights forward Greg Lewis reach for a loose ball during the first half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Northwestern Wildcats guard Sanjay Lumpkin, Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Justin Goode and Knights forward Greg Lewis reach for a loose ball during the first half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Tre Demps scored 24 points, 17 in the first half, and Alex Olah added 14 points and 10 rebounds, leading Northwestern to a 98-59 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

Northwestern was 17 of 28 from 3-point range.

Jonathan Laurent scored 17 for Rutgers, which lost its 31st consecutive Big Ten game and 16th straight game overall.

Northwestern (18-11, 6-10 Big Ten) is on target to win 20 games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

With two games left, Rutgers (6-23, 0-16) is on the verge of becoming the first Big Ten team to go winless in conference play since Northwestern went 0-16 in 1999-2000. Northwestern also went 0-18 in the Big Ten in 1990-91. >> Read more...


 (Brad Rempel)
(Brad Rempel)

Jordan Murphy had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Minnesota dropped Rutgers to 0-14 in the Big Ten with an 83-61 victory on Tuesday night.

Joey King had 15 points and seven rebounds and Dupree McBrayer had 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Golden Gophers (8-19, 2-13), who have won two straight conference games after an 0-13 start. The Gophers picked up their first Big Ten win with a victory over then-No. 6 Maryland last week.

D.J. Foreman had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Bishop Daniels scored 12 points for Rutgers (6-22). The Scarlet Knights turned it over 21 times and have lost 30 straight Big Ten games. >> Read more


Penn State Nittany Lions guard Josh Reaves loses the ball against Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Jonathan Laurent during the first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Penn State Nittany Lions guard Josh Reaves loses the ball against Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Jonathan Laurent during the first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Shep Garner scored 20 points and dished out four assists and Brandon Taylor had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Penn State past Rutgers 70-58 on Saturday.

Donovan Jackson and Josh Reaves both had 12 points and six rebounds for Penn State (14-13, 5-9 Big Ten).

Jonathan Laurent led Rutgers (6-21, 0-14) with 19 points and 15 rebounds. The freshman guard tied his career-high in rebounds. He had 15 rebounds against UMass Lowell earlier this season.

D.J. Forman had 10 points and six rebounds and Bishop Daniels had 13 points and four assists for Rutgers.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

 


 (Mike Granse)
(Mike Granse)

Malcolm Hill scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds and Illinois cruised to an 82-66 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night.

Illinois (12-14, 4-9 Big Ten) snaps a two-game skid while the Scarlet Knights (6-20, 0-13) have lost 13-straight games, all in conference play.

Maverick Morgan added 17 points and Kendrick Nunn chipped in 16 for the Fighting Illini, who used two big first-half runs to jump out to a 47-25 lead at halftime.

Illinois went on a 13-0 run early in the first half and never looked back, scoring 14 first-half points off 10 Rutgers turnovers. >> Read more


 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Rutgers men's basketball player Corey Sanders has been suspended for two weeks due to violating team rules, head coach Eddie Jordan said in a statement.

"Although I am disappointed to announce this suspension, I believe that it will serve as a valuable learning experience for Corey," Jordan said. "The team will continue to work hard in his absence and looks forward to his return."

Sanders, a freshman, leads the team in scoring (16.2 ppg) and assists per game (4.1), and has also averaged 3.2 rebounds in 24 games (21 starts) this season.

The Scarlet Knights (6-19, 0-12 Big Ten) have lost 12 straight games heading into Tuesday's matchup on the road against Illinois.


Ohio State Buckeyes forward Keita Bates-Diop shoots over Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Omari Grier during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Ohio State Buckeyes forward Keita Bates-Diop shoots over Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Omari Grier during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Keita Bates-Diop tied a career-high with 24 points and had a career-high 14 rebounds as Ohio State defeated Rutgers, 79-69 on Saturday.

Jae'Sean Tate added 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting and 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5 Big Ten), marking the sixth time this season they have had two players with double-doubles. Kam Williams added 19 for OSU, which kept its flickering NCAA hopes alive with a second straight victory.

Corey Sanders had 23 points for the Scarlet Knights (6-19, 0-12), who have lost 26 straight regular-season Big Ten games and 27 including the conference tournament. Mike Williams added 13 and D.J. Foreman had 10.

Ohio State opened two 16-point leads, the second at 52-36. Rutgers scored nine straight to get within seven, but could get no closer the remainder of the game.

The first half featured runs by each team, with Bates-Diop's 14 points helping OSU to a 35-26 lead. >> Read more...


A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)
A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carlin, who is the voice of Rutgers football and basketball, donated towards the university's athletic fund in the hopes of upgrading their facilities in an effort to better compete with their Big Ten counterparts (Politi, Feb. 12).

Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014 as part of the conferences expansion.

"You travel like I do to the Big Ten schools, if you put yourself in the shoes of a recruit, it is ridiculous what they have to work with," Carlin said. "If this is going to be what it can be at Rutgers, the investment has to be there."

Carlin, who has called Rutgers football games since 2004 and basketball since 2008, pledged $10,000 towards the university's fund that hopes to raise $100 million.  

"When Pat (Hobbs) announced the plan and came out and spoke to the community as he did, it really made me think," he said. "I've been around Rutgers for 15 years. My wife for four. We were talking about it and asked ourselves, 'What can we do significant that will make a difference?'"

Hobbs was joined by football coach Chris Ash and basketball coach Eddie Jordan in donating $50,000 each towards the initiative. 

Tags: Rutgers University , Tim Reilly

Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Eddie Jordan talks to forward D.J. Foreman during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Bruce Thorson/USATSI)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Eddie Jordan talks to forward D.J. Foreman during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Bruce Thorson/USATSI)

Rutgers basketball coach Eddie Jordan was on the defensive about the struggling program's direction Thursday, telling reporters that unhappy fans "don't understand what's going on."

Rutgers (6-18, 0-11) has lost 26 consecutive Big Ten games and is one of four Power 5 conference teams winless in league play. Jordan, who played on Rutgers' 1976 Final Four team, is 28-61 in three seasons after replacing the fired Mike Rice. The Knights' average attendance of 4,483 is lowest in the Big Ten by far.

"I'm sorry. If that's the way they feel, I'm sorry they feel that way," Jordan said about fans who have been critical on social media. "They just have to be more educated in what the real deal is, if they understand what this conference is about, what type of players and teams we're going up against with injuries and being a young team. If they don't understand that, I don't need to read what the reaction is. I don't care about the reaction honestly."

The Scarlet Knights' frontcourt has been decimated by injuries, with three big men out for the season. At one point Rutgers only had seven scholarship players, but is back to eight.

"When people don't see (6-foot-2 guard) Mike Williams playing power forward, then I don't give a crap what they think," Jordan said. "If they don't see the dimension we have to play with. . . . then I don't understand what they think because they don't understand what's going on.

"We have a fantastic player in (point guard) Corey (Sanders), we have good, young big men who are hurt and not playing, we have one of the top junior college players in the country (Deshawn Freeman). If they don't see that type of progress, then I'm sorry they don't see the reality of the situation."

Jordan suspended the injured Freeman indefinitely earlier in the week, reportedly related to an academic issue.

Sanders, a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, defended Jordan. "Coach has nothing to do with why our record is like it is and Coach is the reason that I'm here. Just stick with us. We're young right now. We've got people hurt. Coach is doing his best."


Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Deshawn Freeman drives to the net during the first half against the St. John's Red Storm at Carnesecca Arena. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Deshawn Freeman drives to the net during the first half against the St. John's Red Storm at Carnesecca Arena. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Rutgers junior Deshawn Freeman, who is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, was suspended from basketball activities, the team announced.

"To build a winning program, all of our student-athletes must commit to be successful academically, personally and athletically," Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan said in a statement. "Deshawn has not met these expectations in a consistent manner. He has the opportunity to return to basketball activities once he does."

Freeman averaged 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in seven games this season, as Rutgers has yet to win a Big Ten game this season.


A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)
A general view of game action between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Norfolk State Spartans during the second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports Images)

Rutgers freshman Jawuan Harris is rare two-sport athlete for the Scarlet Knights: a wide receiver for the football team and an outfielder for the baseball team. 

"I'm a dual-sport athlete all the way,'' Harris told NJ.com's Keith Sargeant.

After playing for St. Thomas Aquinas in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Harris earned a football scholarship at Rutgers, but said the fact he was able to continue to play baseball as well -- he went undrafted in the MLB Amateur Draft last June -- was a large reason why he chose Rutgers over other schools.

"I've been playing both sports for so long,'' Harris said. "It doesn't really strike me as unique.''

Harris and former Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood worked out the arrangements that would allow Harris to play both sports as long as he didn't miss any meetings or class. Rutgers baseball coach Joe Litterio echoed those sentiments, as did new football coach Chris Ash.

"(Ash) said right away he's going to honor what got him here to Rutgers, what Coach Flood promised him and what we discussed going forward,'' Litterio said. "He's been good every step of the way. It hasn't been an issue. He's not doing anything with football (now), but he's talking with the staff. Coach Ash has been great with it.''

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