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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

C.Vivian Stringer shows her true colors

C.Vivian Stringer howls in the background as Louisville defeats Rutgers in the 2008 Big East Tournament. Seems the Rutgers coach carries a grudge way too long...

You be the coach for a second. Your team is up 20 points over an opponent. You have the final possession of the game...shot clock off. Hold the ball and let the clock run out? That's what 99.9% of the coaches out there would elect to do. But, last night, in the Rutgers vs. Louisville game, Rutgers head women's basketball coach chose the opposite. Stringer motioned Rutgers guard April Sykes to go to the hoop and try to score. The result? A foul by Gwen Rucker on Sykes that led to a shoving match and two techincal fouls. A less than stellar ending to a game that Rutgers had wrapped up with 8 minutes to go.

Admittedly, Rutgers is on the bubble to make the NCAA Women's tournament. But, does two more points in a game long over impress the NCAA Selection Committee officials?

The original report on here made it seem as if Sykes decided to make the drive on her own. That is incorrect. The debacle was orchestrated by Stringer. I offer an apology to Sykes for the statements implicating her as the villian in our previous report about the game. Following coaches orders...what you are supposed to do. No apology, though, for Sykes's childish act of throwing the ball off of Monique Reid's turned back on the out of bounds play with .5 seconds remaining in the game. What in the world are they teaching those girls in Jersey? Did they go out and trash mailboxes and trip senior citizens after the game?

Way to wow them with good sportsmanship and class, C.Viv. What's next? Throwing chairs across the court? Tripping opposing players running down the sidelines? Wearing gaudy and mismatched outfits to games? (Oops, already do that..)

Stringer and the Rutgers team was involved in a sorry incident a couple of years ago when celebrity Don Imus made a very unflattering remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Does that give Stringer the bully pulpit, be a jerk also? The context and issue of good sportsmanship in college athletics is already beginning to become a sham and farce in some circles. Way to dump gasoline on the fire, Stringer. Maybe you'll get a Darth Vader costume and laser light for your next game.

A pointless and sophmoric gesture by a frustrated coach whose team had dropped the previous three games to the Cardinals. There were tons of elbows, shoves, aggressive fouls and emotions were on high during the contest last night. This game was ugly from a lot of views. Gwen Rucker with an elbow directly to Sykes's nose in the second half that wasn't neccessary...possibly unintentional...but it fired up the Scarlet Knights and the crowd. Rucker has a prior with Rutgers...remember the staredown last year in the Big East tournament with Kia Vaughn? Rucker also won't back down to intimidation tactics and neither will Rachel Story and the rest of the Lady Cards.

Was Stringer trying to punk Louisville and Walz at the end with her moronic move? Is this the example you want to set for your players? This game was over. Hold the ball, go to the bench at the buzzer and then go thru the parody of the postgame handshakes. Rutgers even screwed that up last night when assistant Rutgers coach Tasha Pointer got up in Walz face during the post game walk and shake and had to be led away by the other Rutgers coaches. Way to stay classy, Rutgers.

A shameful and sorry act from a coach I used to have respect for. I will not be cheering for any Rutgers success in the post season and if I end up in Hartford by some miracle Thursday for the Big East Tournament (current odds 99-1) you can guarantee that I will call Stringer out for her shameful and stupid act if I can gain access to her. I can get a little emotional and "in your face" also if warranted.

(Donations currently being accepted for the "send Sonja to Hartford" fund. All proceeds will either go to funding the trip or cheerfully refunded if I don't get there)

At least Imus eventually apologized to the Rutgers team for his indiscretion. I'll be pleased but very surprised if Stringer has the integrity and character to follow suit with an apology to Louisville and the people who saw the gaffe. Should make for some interesting innuendo when both teams travel over for the Geno Invitational in a couple of days. Here's hoping South Florida can defeat Cincinnati in the opening round of tournament play and knock off #6 seed Rutgers in the next round.

Here's hoping that some common sense and decency finds its way to Piscataway before the Scarlet Knights make the trip. Thanks for reading the rant and we'll breakdown the Big East Tournament pairings and offer some bold predicitions on Weds.

Here's hoping that if Rutgers makes the post season dance they get sent to Louisville for first round action and face Kentucky, Tennessee or Nebraska. I'll be directly behind the Rutgers bench and I won't be yelling "Go Scarlet Knights."

Written by Sonja

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