Monday, May 10, 2010

The Hoop Group now holds all of the cards

This week Robert Morris University named former CBA guard Andy Toole as their new head coach, replacing Mike Rice who took the thankless job of turning Rutgers into a winning program.

With the hiring Toole (photo to the right as a player at Penn) becomes the fifth coach with ties to The Hoop Group to be named a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. He joins former RMU head coach Mike Rice (Rutgers), Greg Vetrone (Fairleigh Dickinson), Chucky Martin (Marist) and Jesse Agel (Brown).

"The Hoop Group (based in Neptune) is the worldwide leader in basketball instruction. 2010 will mark our 48th summer of hosting the country's premier basketball camps. Hoop Group Skills Camp offers a fun, instructional, rewarding experience in our unique camp setting in the Pocono Mountains! Develop your game the Hoop Group way while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Hoop Group Skills Camp - Campers Today...Stars Tomorrow,'' according to their website.

Between 2004 and 2006, Toole spent two years with The Hoop Group in Neptune, N.J. He served as the director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Clinic, where he handled logistical management for the nation's largest high school exposure camp. As director, Toole maintained relationships with elite high school and AAU coaches. Also in 2004, Toole served as the director of Rebounds, a 28,000-square foot facility where high school players focus on development, according to the Robert Morris website.

I know smaller schools have to look at different places to find their head coaches like Wagner did with the hiring of Danny Hurley from St. B's but with the hiring of so many coaches with ties to the Hoop Group, question has to be asked. Is hiring someone with ties to the Hoop Group just like hiring someone who is an AAU coach, while I'm not saying that anything is wrong with this, it just seems strange that so many coaches at lower Division I schools have been hired with ties to the Hoop Group. It just seems weird to me, that is all I'm saying.

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