How Long will the Fred Hill Saga Last?

It is known Fred Hill will not be the Rutgers men's basketball coach next season, but just how long will it take for the situation to sort itself out? It will come down to the interpretation of a few paragraphs in the contract as to whether the removal of Hill as coach could drag on for six weeks, or be concluded in the next two weeks. has the answer inside.

Resolution of the Fred Hill saga should come within two weeks, according to wording within Rutgers' embattled men's basketball coach's contract.

And after such resolution, athletic director Tim Pernetti can get to the process of selecting the Scarlet Knights' next coach.

But before Pernetti can begin interviewing candidates to replace Hill, the matter of his exodus must be finalized.

Hill rejected a buyout proposal Friday, so the school is moving to fire him with cause, meaning Rutgers would not pay any of the approximately $1.8 million remaining on his contract.

Hill's contract states:

"The (athletic) Director shall give Mr. Hill written notice of allegations and, with respect to a breach of this employment agreement and where it is determined by the Director to be feasible, an opportunity to cure said breach, within thirty (30) days of receipt by Mr. Hill of notice of said breach, an opportunity to present, in person, information relating to the allegations ..."

The contract goes on the state:

"In the event of the imposition of discipline by the Director, including suspension or termination, Mr. Hill shall have the right to appeal such a decision to the President of Rutgers. The appeal shall be in writing and submitted within 14 days of the imposition of discipline by the Director. The President's decision shall be final and binding."

It means Hill, under most situations, would have 30 days to fix the problems before he could be jettisoned with cause.

But what happens if Hill's breach of contract allegation(s) aren't correctable?

The genesis behind Hill's impending departure, whether he is fired or resigns, was an alleged "profanity-laced'' tirade against the Pittsburgh coaching staff while on the baseball field following Rutgers' victory against the Panthers on April 1.

What followed, according to various reports, was Hill disobeying the orders of his superior, in this case Pernetti, not to return to the baseball field for the final two games of the series. Hill was spotted in his car watching a game two days later.

Whereas the contract calls for Hill to have 30 days to "cure said breach,'' this particular breach appears incurable.

So, unless Hill's camp is going to argue his alleged behavior at the baseball game is able to be cured, the contract-mandated two-week long process of firing Hill with cause began Monday when Pernetti presented the coach with the "written notice of allegations.''

That appears to be the premise Rutgers is operating under, so Hill now has 14 days to file an appeal, which would be heard by Rutgers President Richard McCormick. And McCormick's "decision shall be final and binding,'' according to the contract.

That is, unless Hill elects to pursue a legal avenue and sues Rutgers for wrongful termination in an attempt to recoup all of the approximately $1.8 million remaining on his contract.

But it is only after Hill's situation with Rutgers is finalized can Pernetti begin interviewing candidates for Hill's replacement.

And among the list of possible successors is Temple coach Fran Dunphy, a solid coach would could be the safest play for Pernetti after the ugly breakup with Hill.

Also, on the list are Ohio State and Boston College coach Jim O'Brien, former St. John's coach and ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie and Philadelphia 76ers coach Eddie Jordan, a star on Rutgers' 1976 Final Four team.

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