Rutgers was unable to come to a contract agreement with Greg Schiano after it was seen as essentially a foregone conclusion that the coach would return to the program, and the failed negotiations could cost the school a lot more than its top choice for a head football coach.
Several prominent Rutgers football boosters told Keith Sargeant of NJ.com that they are furious with athletic director Patrick Hobbs’ inability to close a deal with Schiano. Some, like Rutgers Touchdown Club president Doug Dolan, were happy to attach their names to their criticism.
“I’m giving up my tickets. I’m giving up all my giving. And I’m taking Rutgers out of my will,” Dolan told Sargeant. “We’re really in a bad situation with the football program. And while it is possible that someone else over time can fix it, Greg is the only person who knows what needs to be done. He’s done it in New Jersey and he would’ve immediately put fans back in the seats, which would start to turn the football program’s bleeding financial fortunes around.”
Dolan said he would never root for the next head coach to fail, but he does not believe any other candidates are equipped to handle the situation the way Schiano would be. Another Rutgers insider who chose to remain anonymous told NJ.com that he or she has heard from “no less than 10 big donors and supporters” who are cutting ties with the program. Former Rutgers wrestler and longtime booster James Curran said he knows people who are “devastated.”
“I don’t know if it’s Greg who negotiated too hard or whether Rutgers played games with him. Either way, I think it’s devastating for Rutgers football,” Dolan said. “Everything I’m hearing, from fans and former players, is people are just done because it didn’t happen.”
Hobbs reportedly felt that Schiano’s demands were too lofty and rejected a counter-offer from the coach last week. Rutgers boosters are now calling for Hobbs to be fired, and the school may have a big decision to make if several prominent donors follow through with their threats.
Schiano enjoyed great success as the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-2011. The program’s biggest supporters obviously feel that he can restore that winning culture, and Schiano appeared to be all-in on returning. It may still be possible for the two sides to come to an agreement, but it is not looking likely.
By: Steve DelVecchio