Fairleigh Dickinson basketball changes coach

Is FDU committed to D-1 athletics? Basketball cutbacks raise questions

There was a time, not too long ago, when the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson was viewed as a decent job in college basketball circles.

Located in prospect-rich North Jersey and showcasing the Rothman Center — an impressive small-college gym when it opened in 1987 — the Knights captured seven conference titles, made four NCAA Tournaments and posted winning seasons more often than not under Tom Green.

This week, when Greg Herenda was fired after nine seasons at the helm, the view from the coaching fraternity was decidedly different. As expressed in conversations with several industry insiders, it went something like this: “Is FDU committed enough?”

Last year, the athletic department contracted the men’s and women’s basketball staffs from the standard three full-time assistants to two, replacing the nixed posts with graduate assistants instead. That’s out of step with peers in the Northeast Conference.

FDU coach Greg Herenda (center) addresses his players in 2019

Men’s basketball, the university’s most visible sport, has an undergraduate student as its communications director — an arrangement that would be unusual even in Division III and is virtually unheard of in Division I.

Unable to get an interview with athletics director Bradford Hurlbut, USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey posed a direct question to another athletic department official: Is FDU’s Teaneck campus committed to competing at the Division I level for the foreseeable future?

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