NJ.com- "You know what I think would be great for Jersey basketball? Why don't we get a $50 million god darn arena? How's that?'' Stringer said. "That's what I think would be real great. Because you try recruiting to this. Have you gone to the other facilities? Come on, people. Let's get involved in the things we need to do.
"And I'll play everybody, anybody, whenever they get ready. I need a facility so that we can attract the same kinds of kids that everybody else does. I'm sitting up here and I walk into that facility at Ohio State — are you kidding me? It's the most incredible thing there is.
"We gotta do more than just talking. We gotta do something about this. NJIT, how much are they spending on a facility? Please.''
"Here's our problem: When our kids walk in other places, I'm embarrassed," Stringer said. "I walk into the University of Maryland and they've got a place where these kids can practice the dunk. When I came from the University of Iowa, the weights were women's weights because our shoulders aren't as broad as guys. Everything was tailored down. Everything was catered. You're thinking, 'That's pretty darn good,' because you know that people care and everybody wants to be cared for.''
"I'm seeing the real big picture,'' she said. "We need to bring the big-time people in here. We're not getting the same level quality of depth. We're not getting it. What I'm suggesting is there are a lot of things that are in play. But this is kind of a fixable thing. This is really fixable. We need to take advantage of the talent we have."
"There could a lot of reasons for us not getting back, but I promise you've got to have the quality of depth. And people might say, 'Just get them.' Just get them?' You know what's happening at other places?''
Do you want to be the one to say no to that face? Jesus Vivian, looking like Ice Cube meets women's basketball in that picture. Mean mug on a hundred, thousand, trillion. 'Gangsta Lean' meets 'Lean On Me'. No choice but to turn up 'Move Bitch' and get out the way when she walks in the room.
In all seriousness, when the women that has brought three different programs to the Final Four speaks, you listen. C. Vivian Stringer, who sits at 3rd in womens basketball history with over 950 wins, is without a doubt the most successful person associated the university. This isn't a woman that was hired and came in her first year and started demanding new facilities. This isn't her first rodeo. She transformed the program into a national power. She took Rutgers basketball to a national championship game, and now her success has plateaued, due in large part to average facilities on a far above average campus.
Consider me on board. There will always be a certain amount of nostalgia associated with walking into the RAC, there is no question about that. However, the sentimental value it holds indirectly correlates with the amount of aesthetic value it holds. The old barn needs to go, and that's exactly what the RAC is. Both in appearance and what it represents. It represents a time when Rutgers athletics weren't seen on a national scale. It doesn't properly symbolize the growth the university has seen on both an academic and athletic level. People will argue that the rough estimate of 50 million dollars Stringer suggests be allocated to a new arena and subsequent training facilities could be better spent elsewhere. While I understand their point, they certainly don't give enough credence to what athletics have done for the university globally. Other than it's proximity to New York City and the allure of the Northeast television market, the reason Rutgers even has 50 million dollars to distribute is the state of the football program and thus it's entrance into the Big Ten.
If we are looking at Rutgers history they have been far more reactive than proactive. The expansion to the football stadium came only after the 2006 season when Rutgers showed they can compete with some of the biggest names amongst the landscape college sports. And you know what, that season in itself was enough to grow the prestige of the Rutgers name. The amount of people asking "what's Rutgers?" and "where is Rutgers?" decreased dramatically. The quality of academics has always been there, but academics don't sell. Sports sell. State of the art arenas and soldout stadiums sell. Modern and innovative amenities sell. These are 18 and 19 year old kids we are talking about. They want to see a University that is dedicated to success. The resources shouldn't be dependent on the basketball program flourishing on it's own, the resources should be put in place to help the program flourish.
It's time for Rutgers to start thinking B1G. The Big Ten is an opportunity to turn just another school that happens to be in the state in to a true state university. It's an opportunity for brand expansion. An opportunity to continue to increase the reputation that has been steadily growing over the years. The finances are there. The talent, both academically and athletically, is there to be had. Just look at some of the premiere recruits the football program has brought in since they have taken a more dedicated approach to upgrading the stadium and training facilities. It's time to get aggressive. As I sit here on the couch, taking in the Madness that March brings, I can only hope the pride of New Jersey can one day become a staple in one of the biggest events sports has to offer. At this point, with the assets Rutgers possesses there is no reason they shouldn't. You don't take the opinion of one of most successful people in college athletics with a grain of salt. The time is now. After all...
WE'RE GETTING BIG TEN MONEY!!!!