Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Respect is Key for Rutgers; Schiano Comments on Witherspoon
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Maybe a change of scenery will do the Rutgers football team some good.
At least that’s what head coach Greg Schiano hopes entering Saturday’s game at Navy (3:30 p.m, CBS College Sports Network). The Scarlet Knights (0-2) have been outscored 68-19 in back-to-back home losses at Rutgers Stadium — both of which came on ESPN. They have lost five of their last seven home games dating back to the Maryland game last year.
“I love taking the team on the road for the first time, and that is always a fun thing each year because it’s just you and them,” Schiano said. “You’re traveling together, you’re away from Rutgers and then when you take the field, you’re the enemy. There’s that strip of red (fans) in whatever stadium we’re in, and then everybody else is against us.”
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WITHERSPOON JOINS RUTGERS
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said linebacker Marcus Witherspoon, who was originally ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse and then released by Michigan in August, was enrolled in classes at Rutgers. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Witherspoon was an All-State LB at Absecon (NJ) Holy Spirit High School
“He’s a good football player, really good football player,” Schiano said. “We got back involved when there was a coaching change at MIchigan and he came on an official visit. I really thought we had an opportunity there, and then he decided to stick with his decision. And then it didn’t work out at Michigan. When we received a phone call from his coach saying that he had interest, we definitely had interest.
“He’s our kind of kid. He’s a great player and he’s a really fine person.”
Schiano said Witherspoon would redshirt this year and be able to practice.
“We have to make sure he has a good first semester,” Schiano said. “He can practice with us and train with us and all of that. He does (have to redshirt). I’m glad he’s here.”
Witherspoon led Holy Spirit to the Non-Public Group 3 state title in 2007 and a perfect 12-0 record. He had 102 solo tackles, 27 sacks and four forced fumbles.
“‘I can’t play until next year,” he told the Courier-Post. “That’s the only thing the NCAA said I couldn’t do. I’ll be at school and practicing. Everything is good.
“I feel good. I’m finally over this hill and very happy, very excited. Rutgers is close to home. I’m happy to be back in school, that’s the most important thing.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.