Rutgers' first choice to take over its scandal plagued men's basketball program is University of Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley, according to sources in a Yahoo! Sports report.
Embattled Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti is said to have Hurley at the top of his list, but his own employment remains in question following the release of a videotape Tuesday showing coach Mike Rice abusing players. Pernetti previously suspended Rice three games and fined him $50,000 last season after he viewed the video last year.
Hurley could have a calming effect on the Rutgers athletic department for a variety of reasons according to Yahoo! Sports:
Hurley's name is a magical one in the New Jersey basketball community, and his candidacy would be popular with alumni and high school coaches. As Rutgers enters the highly competitive Big Ten Conference next season, a coach with the credibility to recruit in the region will be paramount.The report lists Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank as another candidate since he discussed the idea with Pernetti four years ago. On Wednesday, Frank called Rice's actions "appalling."
After quickly turning around Wagner's program with 25 victories in his second season, Hurley was hired away to Rhode Island where his early recruiting successes could pave the way for a dramatic turnaround in his second season in the Atlantic 10.
His father, Bob, is the Hall of Fame coach of St. Anthony in Jersey City, and his brother, Bobby, is the new head coach at the University of Buffalo.