Mike Rice Back to Work…At The Hoop Group; Will Appear on ’20/20′ Friday (UPDATED)

Former Rutgers coach Mike Rice is back to work at The Hoop Group.

Rice is listed on the organization’s website as part of the staff, and Hoop Group President Rob Kennedy confirmed to SNY.tv that Rice is the “Director of Hoop Group Headquarters.”

Kennedy said Rice will both work with kids and handle administrative duties.

“I won’t be perfect moving forward, but I’ve changed,” Rice told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts in an interview for ABC’s “20/20″ that he will appear Friday at 10 p.m. “Having that taken away, your dream job…and having it done in such a visible way…and hurting the people closest to me…it changes a person.”

“Mike has acknowledged his mistakes and has worked hard to make positive changes,” Kennedy told SNY.tv. “He has more passion and love of the game than any coach I have ever been around. I’m happy that Mike is able to share that energy with our Hoop Group participants.”

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After Coping With a Double-Tragedy, Kerwin Okoro Is Finally Ready to Suit Up at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Eno Okoro works 16 hours a day, five days a week, in two separate jobs as a nurse’s aid in The Bronx in order to pay her mortgage and other bills.

During the past two years, she has had to endure more tragedy than many people do in a lifetime.

Last November, her husband, Stanislaus, died of a stroke in his native Nigeria.

Two months later, her middle son, 28-year-old Idiongo, passed away from colon cancer.

“It’s been very tough for the past two years,” Eno told SNY.tv by phone on Thursday. To read more of this story, click here

Rutgers Must Step Up Recruiting Heading Into Big Ten

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — New Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan faces a unique situation as he heads into his first year at the helm of his alma mater.

He takes over a program that has just left the Big East and will spend one year in the American Athletic Conference — where Rutgers was picked 10th out of 10 teams — before entering the Big Ten in 2014.

Beginning next year, that will mean a regular slate of games against a powerhouse league that currently has five teams in the Top 25 of the Coaches’ Poll: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 9 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 24 Indiana.

One thing’s for sure: Jordan and his staff must step up their recruiting efforts if they are going to compete with the big boys.

“Recruiting is important and obviously for our recruits, we can sell the Big Ten because they’re coming in for that year,” Jordan said Tuesday at Rutgers media day. To read more of this story, click here

Rutgers Standouts Jack, Mack Say Other Schools Tried to Recruit Them to Leave

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Amid the turbulence of the Mike Rice firing last April, Rutgers standouts Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack both said multiple schools tried to recruit them to transfer.

“A lot of schools called, a lot of schools called, around 7 to 10,” the 6-foot-9 Jack, a redshirt junior, told SNY.tv and the Daily News Tuesday at Rutgers media day.

Jack declined to name the schools, but said, “There were a couple of wows in there that blew me away a little bit.”

A former Rice High School and South Kent (Conn.) standout, Jack was a highly- regarded recruit coming To read more of this story, click here

Rutgers Guard Says Auburn is ‘Like Mars’

Rutgers guard Jerome Seagears compared Auburn to Mars.

“It was just different. It’s like trying to go to Mars,” Seagears, who briefly transferred to Auburn in the offseason before heading back to Rutgers, told SNY.tv’s Matt Sugam. “Try and live on Mars. It’s a whole new environment. It was going to take a whole lot of time to adjust to.”

He added: “There’s nothing down there but country. I used to live in North Carolina for a little bit too. Red Springs, North Carolina.  That’s country too, but nothing like Alabama.”

Rutgers’ Moore Gets Waiver (UPDATED)

Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan got another dose of good news from the NCAA when Pittsburgh transfer J.J. Moore was cleared to play immediately this season.

“I would like to thank the NCAA for their decision regarding my waiver,” said Moore. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to play my senior season here at Rutgers. This decision is a blessing for me and my family.”

“We are grateful to the NCAA and our office of compliance for their hard work in providing J.J. this opportunity,” said Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan. “From the moment J.J. stepped on campus, he brought leadership and experience to our program. I greatly admire his competitive spirit.” To read more of this story, click here

Can Rutgers Land Isaiah Briscoe?

Just a couple of days after in-state rival Seton Hall pulled off a major recruiting coup by landing Brooklyn Lincoln guard Isaiah Whitehead, Rutgers hosted a slew of young  basketball talent for Saturday’s football game in which the Scarlet Knights beat Arkansas, 28-24

New Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan may not be able to match Kevin Willard’s recent burst of recruiting success this year, but Jordan is hoping another talented Isaiah will stay home and play ball at the state university.

Isaiah Briscoe was the biggest name who visited Saturday and Jordan made his pitch. To read more of this story, click here

Rutgers Awaiting Word on Moore, Etou

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan received some good news relating to Kerwin Okoro last Friday.

And now he’s hoping for more good news about J.J. Moore and Junior Etou later this week.

“Hopefully the end of the week but who knows?” Jordan told SNY.tv Monday afternoon at St. Anthony High School where he was recruiting.

“Obviously, J.J. is eligible, it’s just his waiver.  And Junior is a qualifier, it’s just about his experiences over in Africa. And that’s it.”

Moore, a 6-6 Pitt transfer, is hoping to play immediately this year, just like Okoro, who was cleared Friday when the NCAA reversed course after initially declaring him ineligible this year upon his transfer from Iowa State.

Etou is a 6-7 Bishop O’Connell (Va.) big man who is facing questions about his amateurism status.
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NCAA Clears Rutgers’ Okoro to Play

The NCAA has done the right thing in the Kerwin Okoro case.

After initially denying him a waiver to play immediately at Rutgers this season, the NCAA reversed course on Friday.

“I would like to thank the NCAA for granting me a waiver,” said Okoro. “I am very humbled by all the support I have received throughout the process, both from my basketball families at Rutgers and Iowa State. I look forward to working with my teammates and coaches to have a successful season. I feel very fortunate to be at Rutgers and close to my family. I can’t wait to play ball.” To read more of this story, click here

Florida’s Carter, Pitt’s Randall ‘Expected’ to Receive NCAA Waivers to Play Immediately

Eli Carter and Derrick Randall are “expected” to receive waivers to play immediately at Florida and Pittsburgh, respectively, following their transfers from Rutgers, an NCAA source told SNY.tv Wednesday.

“They are expected to go through once we have the official paperwork from the respective schools,” the source told SNY.tv.

The source confirmed that Rutgers transfer Vincent Garrett had received a waiver to play immediately at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

All told, four former Mike Rice players are expected to suit up for their new schools in the 2013-14 season, as SNY.tv first reported that Mike Poole had received a waiver to play this year at Iona. To read more of this story, click here