clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


So a few weeks ago, I posted a note about RMU head coach Mike Rice handling coaching changes/rumors exactly the way the should be handled. When he had interest in another job, he acknowledged that interest, interviewed, was not selected, and returned to his former job. Unlike some, *cough* Jamie Dixon *cough*, who played runaround until fans felt they'd just gotten off a Tilt-A-Whirl, he handled the situation without much of a cover up. It was a mere few weeks ago when there was the talk about making RMU a mid-major powerhouse and Rice said:
"The grass wasn't greener," he said. "This is the place where I want to be and the program that I want to build even further."

But that does not mean Rice will coach Robert Morris through the end of his contract. He said a job could open in the future that could compel him to leave.

"There may be a time or a place that makes it a no-brainer," Rice said. "But it's not right now."
Man, when will we ever learn.

He is now apparently a finalist for the newly-vacant Rutgers job:
The Mike Rice sweepstakes was supposed be over when the men's basketball coach signed an extension at Robert Morris last month. But that may not be the case.

Reports surfaced Saturday that Rice is a finalist for the vacant Rutgers job, a position the school is expected to fill this week. The Times confirmed that Rice did have an interview with Rutgers officials earlier this week.

Rice said simply, "No. That’s all I can say," when asked if he was offered the job. Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman, when asked to confirm the report or if Rutgers had contacted him, said "No comment at this time."
To Rice's credit, he wisely and honestly predicted that the time could come when he would move on. But there's no one who would have believed it would be not even a month later.

My beef is this - he just signed an extension. I mean, JUST, as in, like, you know, April. If you intend to potentially leave before the next year, why sign another extension? I know that's merely for recruiting purposes, but it's not like Rice was a lame duck coach. His prior contract ran through 2016. And heck, maybe it's not even the extension. When you throw around language effectively saying you want to be around, you want to build something special, etc., then leave immediately afterwards, you're not only disrespecting the university, you're disrespecting the fans. If you have your eye on a larger prize down the road, I've got no beef with that. But to leave weeks after you've virtually alleged your near-term allegiance? Come on.

To me, it's not if Rice gets the job or not at this point. He's interviewed and essentially flipped the university off, weeks after they've said they'll try to do what it takes to keep him. Whether it's extending a contract no one really believes he would finish out. Whether it's upgrading the facilities, which they've pledged to do. Whether it's giving him their blessing to interview for other jobs.

No, that apparently wasn't enough. By vowing to stay to help the school improve, then grabbing his 30 pieces of silver at the first opportunity, Rice has turned into every other backstabbing coach that says one thing then immediately does another.

Way to go, Mike. You truly deserve to inherit a Rutgers team that lost its best player, had several others transfer, and in the current makeup of the Big East, will have its hands full in trying to compete as even a middle-of-the-road team. You're just now one more coach to root against and it makes it all the more easier now that you're in the Big East.

Congratulations. I hope that 8-22 record next year doesn't hurt too much.