Jeff Ruland, Lon Kruger, and LA City College
Andy Katz says Jeff Ruland sent his application to NC State in the hopes of getting an interview. There is nothing to suggest that Ruland is a candidate for the job, and Lee Fowler should know better than to give the man a serious look.
Recall the LACC/D1 Scheduling story which alleged that schools were paying for the commitments of LA City College players through a scheduling service. Jeff Ruland's Iona teams were among those implicated:
This season, Iowa State played host to a four-team Thanksgiving tournament. Records show Iowa State paid D1 Scheduling $125,000 to provide Iona, Howard and Portland State. Howard received $13,000, Portland State $15,000. Iona, a private school, declined to divulge its guarantee. If Iona's guarantee was anything like those received by Howard and Portland State, D1 Scheduling would have kept more than $80,000 of Iowa State's $125,000 check. While Iona has no LACC players on roster this season, Gaels coach Jeff Ruland received a commitment from at least five players from LACC since 1999 (Kenya Carruthers, Leland Matthews, Jermaine Small, Norman Simmons and Julian Sensley). Howard also recruited Simmons, who never got eligible there, while Portland State has recruited LACC players in recent years but never landed one. Ruland ignored multiple interview requests by SportsLine.com. Howard and Portland State have changed coaches since those games were arranged. Current Howard coach Gil Jackson said he inherited that $13,000 game at Iowa State for No. 25, 2005, and couldn't believe it.
"Guarantees at that level start at $40,000 and upward," Jackson said. "Now that I'm here, we won't be playing any more games like that."
In response, Ruland said the following:
"The guy [who wrote the story] is a moron," Ruland said.
"He can't get his facts straight. It's not illegal to have a scheduling company. It's tough for us to get games when you're a good mid-major; no one wants to play you. And, we've had no players [involved in D1] since 2000 and we're not using them next year because the schedule is almost done."
Gregg Doyel pointed out that Iona signed LACC's Norman Simmons recently but couldn't get him eligible. Why not Jeff Ruland? This is why not.
On a side note, when I was looking at some things related to LACC, I found that the college sent three players to UNLV right before Lon Kruger took over there. Kruger, of course, is one of the latest guys to pop up in the NCSU coaching search.
Kruger does not have a relationship with LA City College. In fact, Kruger could not get an LACC player even if he wanted one:
As long as Lon Kruger is coaching UNLV, do not expect the Rebels to score a Los Angeles City College recruiting coup like it has over the past 18 months with Jerel Blassingame, Romel Beck and Wilbur Williams.
LACC coach Mike Miller said he won't allow it, that he officially shut off the pipeline from his program to Southern Nevada when Kruger did not retain Dave Rice, a Miller confidant, on his staff last spring.
In retrospect (this story was written in 2004), Miller's pettiness did Lon Kruger's program a favor. UNLV became disassociated with LACC shortly after D1 Scheduling was founded--and long before Gregg Doyel's investigation.