Friday, May 18, 2012

Rider Coach Dempsey Gets Interview At Binghamton

The MAAC has already lost two basketball coaches (Tom Parrotta at Canisius and Gina Castelli at Siena) since the end of this past season and, now, might be on the verge of losing another.

A report in Thursday's edition of the Trenton Times, indicates that Rider men's coach Tommy Dempsey appears to be a serious candidate to move to Binghamton University. Binghamton's opening is a result of its April 30 firing of former Temple standout Mark Macon.

The report indicates that Dempsey was interviewed yesterday (Thursday), and that an offer was expected to be extended.

"I am very happy at Rider," the 38-year old Dempsey said in the report. "Any talk of me taking another job at this point is pure speculation. I have not made a commitment (to Binghamton)."

Published reports indicated that Macon was receiving a base salary of about $150,000 annually. The likelihood is that the school's offer to Dempsey, everything included, might be double that figure.

As a public institution, Rider is not required to release salary figures but the guess here is that Dempsey would receive a considerable financial increase were he to move to Binghamton.

Binghamton has significantly better facilities. Its Events Center holds 5,142 for basketball, more than three times what Rider's gym can accommodate. And, Binghamton is located within an hour of Dempsey's hometown of Scranton, Pa.

Rider finished with a 13-19 record last season, but was 12-8 after a 1-10 start when dealing with a variety of player absences. His teams the previous four years (2007-10) won 82 games, the most over a four-year stretch in school history.

Whoever takes the Binghamton job faces a significant rebuilding process.

After reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2009 (under former head coach Kevin Broadus), an investigation found that Binghamton's administration had lowered admission standards for Broadus' recruits.

Broadus was eventually forced out as was the school's president, its provost, two assistant coaches, its athletic director and its assistant AD. Six players were also dismissed from the program after the investigation found a variety of violations.

Macon had been 23-70 in three seasons, including a 2-29 record this past season, and ranked last in the Ratings Percentage Index of all Division I programs. And, since the end of this past season, three freshmen have transferred from the program.

The school's current athletic director is Patrick Elliott, who previously served in that capacity at another MAAC school, Saint Peter's, and surely knows Dempsey well.

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