August 17, 2019 | 84° F

Crooks suspended for tonight's game against Syracuse

Photo by Andrew Howard |

Head coach Glenn Crooks is suspended for tonight's game vs. Syracuse due to a violation of athletic department policy.

Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti suspended Glenn Crooks yesterday for tonight's women's soccer matchup against Syracuse at Yurcak Field.

Pernetti cited a violation of athletic department policy as the reason for the 10th-year head coach's one-game hiatus.

"Accountability is a critical part of the Rutgers Athletics family and while this decision was difficult, we will always follow what is in-line with athletic department policy," Pernetti said in a statement.

Associate head coach Mike O'Neill will direct the team against the Orange.

Crooks could not be reached for comment.

After an indescribably trying three days, all RU's thoughts are now on what lies ahead.

The Scarlet Knights are in second place in the Big East — behind Notre Dame — with four regular season games remaining.

Outside of its conference goals, RU also retained its top-10 ranking this week, holding the No. 10 spot after to losing to No. 8 (now No. 7) Notre Dame and beating DePaul over the weekend.

Tonight they defend that ranking and their place in the Big East against conference rival Syracuse at Yurcak Field.

"We'd prefer to be in first [in the Big East]," Crooks said prior to his suspension. "But to be in second place, considering everything that the team has had to deal with in terms of injuries, is pretty satisfying. Now it's very important that we finish in second or first so that we can host the first round of the Big East Tournament."

Of the Knights' final four opponents, only St. John's poses any kind of real threat on paper. The Red Storm — who the Knights play Saturday — is in third place overall in the Big East and first in the conference's American Division. They are also receiving votes in the NSCAA national ranking poll.

The rest of RU's opponents this season are in the bottom of the barrel in the conference, including Syracuse. The Orange come to Yurcak Field as the last place team in the Big East. They have a 1-5-1 conference record and are 3-6-1 overall.

"Every one of these Big East games is difficult," Crooks said. "I've seen Syracuse. I don't care what their record is; I don't care what's going on. I watched a tape of their match against Louisville. They lost the match, but they were the better team — that's the way I saw it. So I have no doubt that tomorrow's game will be just as difficult as any Big East game that we've played."

Knight Note: Crooks had positive news to report on the condition of injured junior forward Ashley Jones, who displaced her tibia and fibula in the first half of Sunday's win over DePaul.

"The surgery went very well," Crooks said. "And the doctors are completely encouraged and feel very good that it's a very positive prognosis for her. Now it's just a long recovery."

Chris Melchiorre

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