In 1969, Jimmy Breslin debuted a book called The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. The title says it all; toss in a Mafia theme of failed hits and you pretty much have it.
He could've waited until this year and published it about Rutgers Athletics.
Since making it into the Big Ten, Rutgers has had a scandal about former basketball coach Mike Rice, who was abusive to his players, a subsequent scandal about how Rutgers failed to pay attention to said scandal, an embarrassing revelation that new coach Eddie Jordan never actually graduated from Rutgers in spite of calling himself an alum, and now, to top it all off, the new A.D. has a scandal of her own.
When Julie Hermann was coaching volleyball at Tennessee sixteen years ago, she had a player rebellion which saw the team write a letter to the A.D. accusing her of mental cruelty, saying that she had called them whores, alcoholics and learning disabled," and that "[i]t has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue."
One of her former assistant coaches sued her after Hermann allegedly pressured her to not get pregnant and won a $150,000 settlement.
Hermann said she didn't remember any of it and that can't remember Ginger Hineline's wedding at all, not even catching the boquet (which was also videotaped, as it happens).
Well, look. You can't very well hire an abusive former coach to clean up after an abusive coach, much less one with such a severe case of amnesia. She'll have to go too. It's just a question of how long it takes. Can you imagine what will happen if, say, the field hockey coach files a complaint of abuse? Doesn't even have to be real. Just an allegation. Then the whole thing starts over again.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the school could have hired Bob Hurley, and failed to, which is too bad on at least two levels: 1) he's a brilliant coach, even if he only took the job as a caretaker, and 2) after decades of working with parolees and high school students,Â he has a superb bullshit detector.
Come to think of it, they could've skipped him as a coach and just asked him to judge candidates. A lot of this might've been avoided.
Here's our old pal Steve Politi with his take. We'd love to be a fly on the wall at Jim Delaney's house.Â Wait until he gets the full measure of Maryland: this round of Big Ten expansion is looking pretty bad.