Bleeding Scarlet

By Jeff Lippman - June 25, 2007

Women's basketball needed the extra attention, but this is ridiculous.

Rutgers women's basketball has been making regular trips to media headlines ever since their title-game loss to Tennessee in Cleveland at the Final Four, they just haven't been for very positive reasons.

First there was that whole Don Imus incident, and now, a former aide to coach C. Vivian Stringer has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing from the coach.

Stringer has been quoted saying she wishes the team could get back to being just another talented women's basketball team, but the fact is, all this controversy and media inclusion guarantees to keep the Scarlet Knights in the media's eye all next season, something that both Stringer and Rutgers will definitely not complain about.

Monday morning, Rutgers was awarded the Irv Grossman Award of Merit as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards presented by Honda honoring "individuals in recognition of service, support and unique achievement as it contributes to public awareness and appreciation of women's collegiate sports, improves the general condition of women's collegiate sports and elevates the status of women's collegiate sports on a national level."

Is it just me, or did Rutgers do none of the above?

This team made a remarkable turnaround last basketball season, losing its first few games and coming out of essentially nowhere to storm the Final Four and come very near shocking the world and winning a national title. Then they suffered from the repulsive words of Don Imus, forcing them into the forefront of the American media for a little while.

As great a season that they had on the court, and as trying as the Imus situation was, I really do not see how Rutgers earned the distinction of having elevated the status of women's collegiate sports on a national level. They were victors and then victims, nothing more, nothing less. Their prize is that everyone knows their name.

They will be media darlings from now until they embark on their next run to the Final Four come March. I am not going to disagree that their play and the way they handled themselves following the offensive words don't merit some sort of recognition, but to me, the comeback team of the year award makes much more sense than an award for merit.

It is not whether Rutgers is deserving of an award that I am calling into question--they most certainly deserve any basketball-related accolade bestowed upon them--it is the prize itself that doesn't fit the team to which it was presented.

Tennessee Honored? Shocking!

While the award is expected--after all, when you have the national Player of the Year and the greatest coach in history, you expect these sorts of awards--the Tennessee Sports Writers Association tabbed Candace Parker and Pat Summitt as the state's women's basketball Player and Coach of the Year.

Summitt's honor was not a lock, however, although her Lady Vols won the national title, Rick Insell down at Middle Tennessee State had a pretty awesome season as well.

And don't look now, but the ESPY Award nominations are out, and guess what team leads the way? The Indianapolis Colts! You didn't guess them? You guessed Tennessee? Oh, well, you are still right, they tied with the Colts, both earning six nominations. Monica Abbott of softball earned one, with the other five going to the women's basketball team.

Hearts out to Andy Landers

Andrew Landers was in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson, Monday morning.

Landers, the son of Georgia coach Andy Landers, was one of three passengers in a Honda Accord that was struck head-on by a tractor-trailer in Oxford, Ala., Sunday. The driver, assistant basketball coach at North Oconee High School where Landers attends and plays basketball, Shawn Smith, was killed in the accident.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 01:57 PM on June 25, 2007
Comments (2)


I am sick and tired of hearing how tough it was for the Women of Rutgers to make it through the "horrible" exoperience of the Don Imus. We need to get some perspective here. What he said was not so awful.What the media and the two great hypocritical Reverends did with it was horrible. Nappy Headed hos...say it over in your head a few times I was called worse things in grade school. People like you just feed the whole mess by continuing to bring it up like it was some major event in our history. Meanwhile our children diein Iraq and people can't even get up the gumption to go an al out attack on true evil the Bush Administration.

Wait a minute. The Rugters head coach is in prison. Since when? I didn't hear about that. Three years? She must have stolen all the basket balls, all the money, and everthing else you can steel. Well then I need some more info on that one...

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