The Future of Rutgers Women's Basketball

The Future of Rutgers Women's Basketball

The time has finally come. Actually, it may be overdue. A couple of years overdue. Vivian Stringer has outlived her years at Rutgers. She has outlived her years as a Division 1 head women's basketball coach.

The writing has been on the wall for the past couple of years. Head scratching losses to the likes of DePaul and St. John's. Not exactly women's basketball powers. Losses that could not have been envisioned when Rutgers was in Cleveland in 2007, beating LSU in the national semis before losing to Tennessee in the NCAA Championship Game.

Nothing epitomizes the need to retire more than a recent loss to unheralded Seton Hall in South Orange by a score of 45-42. A game in which Rutgers held a 42-39 lead and did not score for the last five minutes plus of the game. A loss to a Seton Hall team which has not had a winning season since 2000-2001 and had not beaten Rutgers in 12 outings.  A loss to a team which Rutgers humiliated 62-39 last year with lesser talent than they have this season.

Stringer's team, littered with McDonald's All-Americans, is now 14-8 and 5-4 in the not too difficult Big East. They have now dropped contests to Tennessee, Notre Dame, Princeton, Boston College and as noted before an awful Seton Hall team. She has made recent statements in the Newark Star-Ledger challenging the Rutgers athletic department. She appears to be trying to negotiate a new contract in the media.

Stringer has a staff of all former players from both Iowa and Rutgers. They defer to her and her 1950's coaching style in practice and during games. Few in game adjustments are made by Stringer and during huddles virtually no talking is done by the likes of assistants Tasha Pointer and Chelsea Newton.

Stringer coached at Cheyney State when former Temple men's coach John Chaney was coaching the men. She is a Chaney disciple and that is not a good thing in 2013. Chaney, like Stringer, generated his offense off of his defense and by virtue of that, put the brakes on a scoring great like Mark Macon. Stringer is doing the same thing at Rutgers and has ruined the offensive prowess of scorers like April Sykes, who graduated last year and was rarely an offensive factor during her Rutgers career.

Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti should offer Stringer a goodbye tour in 2013-4. A Hall of Fame coach deserves that, at a minimum. And then a national search should begin for a coach who can bring Rutgers into the 21st century. It is simply not going to ever happen again under Stringer. He should take a look at Courtney Banghart of Princeton. She simply does not lose in the Ivies and came close to knocking off Kansas State last year in the NCAA's.