|Embattled Seton Hall coach Gonzalez draws support from university president|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 07 April 2008 16:44|
``Bobby Gonzalez is Seton Hall's coach and will continue to be our coach as we move ahead,'' Monsignor Robert Sheeran said in an extraordinary statement issued late in the day.
``I can assure you all that coach Gonzalez will continue to strengthen our men's basketball program and will be successful in all those areas that matter to the university, the student-athletes and the fans,'' the school president said. ``He has the full support of my administration in doing this.''
Sheeran said he was committed to both Gonzalez and athletic director Joe Quinlan in their efforts to rebuild the school's men's basketball program.
The New York Post reported Monday night that the university's board of regents might recommend Gonzalez be fired when it met this week.
Gonzalez was suspended by the university for next season's first Big East Conference game for criticizing the officiating after a loss to Rutgers in the regular-season finale.
At the time, Quinlan called Gonzalez's conduct on March 9 ``unacceptable'' and ``not representative'' of Seton Hall sports. The school said he failed to comply with university and conference policies.
Gonzalez has not commented on the suspension.
The fiery coach led the Pirates to a 17-15 mark in his second season at the South Orange school. Seton Hall lost in the first round of the conference tournament to Marquette 67-54. The Pirates were 13-16 in Gonzalez's first season.
Seton Hall was offered an invitation to play in the inaugural College Basketball Invitational Tournament on Sunday, but the school turned it down.
Gonzalez, who seemingly has been at odds with Quinlan at times during his short tenure, got himself into trouble both during and after the Rutgers' game, which the Scarlet Knights won 64-61 on a last-second 3-pointer by JR Inman.
Gonzalez was called for a technical foul by official Wally Rutecki with 7:25 to play after jumping out of his seat to argue a traveling violation with the Pirates down a point.
After the game ended, Gonzalez ran on the court to demand that Rutecki and fellow officials Jim Burr and John Cahill review Inman's game-winning shot to make sure it was before the buzzer.
A Seton Hall associate athletic director ran on the court to hold Gonzalez back.
The replay clearly showed the shot was good.
After the game, Gonzalez criticized Rutecki.