Rutgers Football: Why Rutgers Fans Should Be Heartened at Desperate Time

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2012

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27:  Coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speaks to the media at an introduction press conference at the team training facility January 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Rutgers fans first reaction to Greg Schiano's surreptitious departure from the RU football family had to be negative. 

That is because of the years of hurt that this fanbase had endured between the solid era of Rutgers football between the '70s and the early '90s until RU entered the Big East in 1991.  

Between 1992 and 2001, Rutgers football had become the punchline of college sports.

That was before the hiring of Greg Schiano.

Although he initially struggled, as of 2005, RU football was competitive and heading into this season, the Knights were set to welcome in the best recruiting class in the history of the program—a phrase that Scarlet Knights fans had been getting used to saying every time February 1st National Signing Day came around.

But now, with just days to National Signing Day, the unexpected departure of this head coach has the signing class in jeopardy.  

There is a temptation to think that the dark days will return. 

Schiano has a certain class of RU fan conditioned that he is the only man that can win at Rutgers, and that the program will fall apart now. 

However, there are some huge differences now, compared to prior to Greg Schiano's tenure at RU.

Although he has left this program, it is built to the point where with the right hire, it could soar to new heights.

It has world-class facilities, a remodeled stadium and a good solid team returning for the 2012 season.

Although some members of the current class will most likely de-commit from RU, the ones who do decide to come to Rutgers are solid football players.

The other difference is A.D Tim Pernetti.

He is clearly committed to RU football, as evidenced by his move to gain coaching status so he may stay in touch with recruits, and he will not allow the program to fall to the depths that it did in the mid-'90s.

Although I cannot be specific about the names that RU is considering for their head coaching position because the information is from a paid website, I can say that this will be a well-thought-out hire by Pernetti.  

There is a real commitment to football at Rutgers, and the RU faithful really should not worry about the program falling to the depths of the '90s, it is as Schiano promised, built to last—the one promise Schiano did deliver.