Clear some tabs of things that have held my interest. Actual relation to Pitt may not exist.
The SEC is still wrestling with the issue of staying at 8 or going to 9 conference games. Great article by Andy Staples laying out the factions and the issues. There remains that certain inevitability to 9 games when you have 14 members and strength of schedule will be coming into play at some point with the new playoff system. A lot of the issues in there can be applied to the ACC.
It makes sense to see opposition from schools like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina. They have annual non-con rivalry games that limit their scheduling. Go to a 9-game conference slate and suddenly they only have 2 non-con games available. It limits the ability to schedule much outside of a rent-a-patsy. I find it strange that LSU seems so opposed to going to 9 games.
Oh, Rutgers. Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers.
Sixteen years ago, members of the University of Tennessee women’s volleyball team gathered for a last meeting with their head coach, Julie Hermann. In gym shorts or jeans, some piled onto a black leather couch. Others sat on the floor, cross-legged, almost breathless.
Many of them remember Hermann standing over them, as she had at hundreds of practices and matches. For several minutes, as the players recall, she said nothing.
The players say everyone, including the athletic director, had been brought together by a letter all 15 players on the team had submitted. In it, the players said, their coach had ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse.
“The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable,” the players wrote. Specifically, they said the coach had called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”
In blunt terms, the players wrote, “It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue.”
Hermann, the players say, absorbed the words, turned to her team, and said simply: “I choose not to coach you guys.”
At that point Ms. Hermann left coaching for the administrative side of college athletics and became something of a rising star. Now becoming the AD of Rutgers. A school pushing through a scandal with an abusive coach and something of a cover-up by the school… Oh.
Congratulations, Rutgers. You really have outdone yourself this time.
How did Rutgers let this happen? Who, exactly, does the vetting for this university? This was not some monthlong investigation that found these players. They were contacted during the basic reporting that goes into any profile of a public figure in an important job.
“I will recruit an AD that shares my vision or I won’t hire him,” Rutgers president Robert Barchi promised two weeks before he hired Hermann, but once again, his school failed to do the thorough background check that could have prevented another PR nightmare.
The oblivious Barchi promised an extensive vetting on the next basketball coach, then watched Deadspin reveal that Eddie Jordan never completed his degree – contrary to what was written in his bio on the athletics home page. But that blunder was trivial compared to this.
Rutgers didn’t interview Ginger Hineline, the woman who sued Tennessee for pregnancy discrimination based largely on a dispute with Hermann. Rutgers didn’t contact anyone on her Tennessee teams to see what prompted her, in 1997, to switch into athletic administration.
It gets worse for Rutgers. Hermann went into lying/denial mode when these facts came to light. Including even a video of something.
Like all of us, Christie will want to know why Hermann repeatedly claimed to have no memory of so many of the charges in the other aspect of the news report — that she fired an assistant coach, Ginger Hineline, for getting pregnant. Hermann was sued, and the case was settled. But when asked about specific charges, including words said while she was a bridesmaid in Hineline’s wedding, Hermann said she couldn’t remember being a part of the event at all. This despite video showing her catching the bridal bouquet.
Man, videos and Rutgers. Just don’t go together.
As usual, it’s the cover-up not the crime that makes this worse. I mean, Rutgers probably shouldn’t have couldn’t have hired her based on why they needed a new AD. But these were events from 16 years ago. Hermann has built a sparkling reputation in the administrative side. If she owned it, talked of learning from it. It is something different. A great column from Mike Vaccarro makes a solid point in how coaching has changed.
You can. For a very long time, this was the accepted culture surrounding serious-minded coaches at every level in every sport. If you weren’t a yeller, you weren’t trying. You weren’t demeaning your players by screaming at them, defaming them, even cursing them; you were motivating them.
As long as you weren’t physically abusive, you could get away with anything. Bobby Knight did. Billy Martin did. Woody Hayes did. Sit behind Mike Krzyzewski’s bench sometime. Some of the stuff his staff has called Duke basketball players through the years makes Mike Rice’s observations sound like sonnets.
That’s the atmosphere in which coaches of Hermann’s generation were raised, mostly because that’s how they were coached. So, no, you don’t have to admire what Julie Hermann called her players in 1996 or 1997, but if she has seen the errors of her ways, she can be forgiven.
But when you lie. But when you say you don’t even remember the accusations? No.
We get frustrated with Pitt’s administration at points. There are things to dislike. But, thank god we don’t have Rutgers administration from the President down.
Rice said he spoke with [Kaitin] Reinhardt late Sunday night, and Reinhardt indicated another system might be better suited for his talents. Primarily a catch-and-shoot guard at UNLV, Reinhardt wants to play the point or a role that includes more ballhandling responsibilities.
The Rebels will have four point guards on their roster next season — sophomore Daquan Cook, incoming freshman Kendall Smith and junior college transfers Jelan Kendrick and DeVille Smith.
“Katin told me why he was leaving. He said that he feels his best opportunity to play in the NBA is to play more minutes at the point guard position,” Rice said. “Katin would have had an opportunity to compete for minutes at the point, but I’ve never guaranteed anyone that they will start or play a certain number of minutes.
UNLV had Mike Moser go graduate transfer. Three others graduated and one turn pro early. Six of their top eight scorers are gone. But, but, they play the fast paced open style that kids want? Where are they all going?
Reinhardt should be the least surprising transfer. He is a Mater Dei kid. For whatever reason, despite the high school’s success, they are transfer central in college. As for Reinhardt’s ambitions to run point. Um, no. He got to play 25min/game as a freshman. Greenlight to shoot. And still transferred because he wasn’t the centerpiece?
So, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is ready to go hyperbolic on the ACC by 2014.
“I love what’s happening with our conference,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re going to be a 10-bid conference. We’re going to be the best conference in the history of the game. It’s exciting to be part of that.”
Ummmm…. I am a little hesitant to go there yet. I know conference solidarity and all that. But, the Big East in the past 7 years has been the conference and the ACC has found itself behind them and the Big 10.
Or that the more recent version of the Big East earned three No. 1 seeds in 2009 and landed a record 11 NCAA tournament bids in 2011, with its ninth-place team capturing the national championship. Heck, you could argue this may not even be the strongest incarnation of the ACC considering the caliber of the league before it added Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech in a bid to improve in football.
For this upcoming era of ACC basketball to compare favorably, the league will need not only Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Louisville to remain powerhouses but some of its lower-echelon programs to step up in class.
Georgia Tech faded from national relevance late in Paul Hewitt’s tenure and has yet to fully recover so far under Brian Gregory. Wake Forest is in the midst of one of its worst periods in program history under embattled coach Jeff Bzdelik. Boston College hasn’t made the NCAA tournament in four years or won an NCAA game in six. And football-first Virginia Tech, Clemson and Miami have been erratic at best, aside from the Hurricanes’ brilliant but perhaps short-lived success this past season.
Throw in long periods of mediocrity from NC State, Virginia and soon-to-be-Big Ten-bound Maryland, and it’s fair to say the ACC has mostly ridden Duke and North Carolina’s coattails recently.
The league has averaged a modest five NCAA Tournament bids per season since its 2004 expansion and produced only four NCAA teams two of the past three seasons.