Vivian Stringer Gets Paid

According to the Newark-Star Ledger Stringer has inked a deal to write her autobiography:

Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer earned countless fans last week when she stood up to radio shock jock Don Imus.

She also earned a book deal

Wow, nothing like a hometown paper to make you sound like a legend. By the time the Rutgers press conference occurred Imus had already apologized, multiple times if I am not mistaken so I am not real sure when or where she stood up to Imus.

“It’s about an incredible woman with an extraordinary life story,” said Tina Constable, executive vice president for publicity at Crown, who declined to say how much the company will pay Stringer. “She’s a pioneer, a legend, an icon and a role model.”

Stringer’s agent, Laurie Bernstein, finalized the deal Friday, at the end of a week that saw Stringer morph from a top women’s basketball coach into a national figure in the face of Imus’ racial and sexist comment about her team, for which he later apologized.

I find it amazing she is all of those things when a majority of the country did not know who she was until last week. And you will notice that the remarks by Imus(which they finally get around to telling us he apologized for but almost as an afterthought) were not directed at her but her team. Someone please tell me why she is reaping all the reward?

The day after the Scarlet Knights lost the national championship game to Tennessee, Imus called the Rutgers women “nappy-headed hos” on his radio show. CBS, which owned Imus’ syndicated radio show, fired him Thursday, two days after Stringer and her team appeared in a nationally televised press conference to defend themselves, and hours after Stringer and members of the team appeared on “Oprah” to rave reviews.

Stringer was in North Carolina on a recruiting trip yesterday and was unavailable for comment.

I am still a little fuzzy on why they were out there defending themselves when he had already apologized. It would be one thing if had Imus refused to offer regret or remorse for his remarks. However, by the time they hit the stage for the press conference Imus had already offered multiple apologies for the remark. And don’t get me started on Oprah jumping on this like cheese cake.

Stacey Brann, the basketball team’s spokeswoman, said Stringer had been working with Bernstein since last year to sell her life story. The coach is not trying to capitalize on the controversy, Brann said.

Ross Kleinberg, an executive with the New York public relations firm Taylor who spent five years working with celebrity sports authors in the publishing industry, said Stringer’s performances last week made the book deal a no-brainer.

Oprah Winfrey, who Brand said has invited Stringer back to her show, is the top advertising forum for books in the U.S.

“It’s a snowball effect,” Kleinberg said. “She was seen as a great leader for her team, which came across so well to everyone. You strike while the iron is hot.”

I love contradictions. On one hand you have a Rutgers spokesperson saying that Stringer had this on the docket all along and happen to choose now to work on it. On the other hand you have this analysis that she is absolutely going ahead with the project because of the upswing in popularity afforded to her by the media who can be a wee bit obsessive. And we all know the book will sell millions because she will end up back on Oprah plugging it.

Freelance writer Laura Tucker will assist Stringer in writing the book.

James Frey was not available?

Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahy, said he was excited for Stringer about the deal.

“She’s had an amazing and wonderful life and I think it’s great someone would want to write a book about her,” Mulcahy said.

Mulcahy, for all of the tremendous accomplishments Rutgers has enjoyed, is apparently unfamiliar with the term autobiography.

Stringer is third all time among college basketball coaches with 777 wins. She has had a series of traumas in her life, including the paralysis of a daughter from spinal meningitis and the death of her husband at 47. One of her sons was involved in a shooting death at North Carolina State.

“This is going to be a powerful story that will resonate with a wide audience,” Constable said.

I am sure the only resonating this book will do will be through the droning hypnotic tones Oprah uses to command her followers to buy it. Yes she has dealt with a lot of hardship but I am at a loss to figure out what will make her story more compelling than Pat Summit or Gene Auriemma.

Really, I do understand this is how the game is played but the one thing that really bothers me about all of this is Stringer is just another in a long line of individuals who are out there reaping benefits galore off this situation when the actual victims of the remark, the players themselves basically got to go on Oprah, have their lives generally distracted while being exposed to the intense glare of a national media spotlight. Not that I think they should get paid(nor could they with the NCAA) or anything of that nature. It strikes me as odd that one flippant remark directed at these women has garnered major opportunities to attain financial or political power for so many people who were not the actual targets.

I am sure the ladies are glad they could be of service to everyone.

12 Responses to Vivian Stringer Gets Paid

  1. 52BigGameJames says:

    Rome is burning folks! I can see the Greek Isles in my future-as long as I can get the Heels on satellite, I’m good.

  2. austin says:

    It is great that Coach Stringer has signed a book deal, but this is not her first biography, “This is a Game Ladies” was a great documentary made about the coach many years ago.

  3. Josh Bowling says:

    Tarheel Fan, I have really enjoyed your post(s) on this matter and you have been a man after my own heart with your commentary regarding this subject. Keep looking at subjects from a standpoint of logic and not emotion, and most of your points will be pretty convincing.


  4. 52BigGameJames says:

    pardon the hi-jack, but I just had to tell it–just got back from an ACC “Barnstorming Game” featuring Wes, Reyshawn, Dewey, Kyle Viscer, Atsur, and Hamilton (Clemson) against a team of HS All-Stars. Took my 10 year old son and a friend of his. It was a really entertaining evening especially for the “Wonder-Years Boys”. Must say, Wes was every bit the gracious young man we’ve come to respect, as was Dewey and Engin. A fun evening indeed! Dewey said Brandon hasn’t made up his mind yet. Hope we see these fellas coaching someday-they really represent!

  5. Kyle Worsham says:

    THF- these Rutgers women have really gotten under your skin. I disagree with Josh and am turned off by your lengthy post on the matter of Vivian Stringer- who cares if she is going to write a biography? Are you upset also about all the money being made by consultants yacking on tv about the va tech shooter who also was an unkown until this week? Both of these incidents garnered national attention and when that happens people make money for a variety of reasons. There is a current newsweek article on the Imus debacle that in part comments on how it represents a shift of power in this country. Others have said that with Obama a viable presidential candidate the black community is feeling more empowered. If these things are true maybe your disdain is a reflection of feeling threatened somehow. As for Imus I don’t think he should have been fired but I fully understand why he was.

  6. 52BigGameJames says:

    LOL-that’s a stretch. And if someone makes fun of gays it represents their latent homosexuality. It’s never about the stated issue is it, it always their hidden/unconscious agenda. THF has been consistent on what stinks about this-the blatant hypocrisy & shrill outcry from the many “victims”. When I see the Leaders of this newly “empowered” Black Community start carrying the torch for rejection of exploitation across the spectrum, I’ll join the march, but until then, I’ll view selective indignance incidents like these through the prism of skepticism.

  7. 52BigGameJames says:

    I meant to add “stereotyping” too.

  8. Tar Heel Fan says:

    “If these things are true maybe your disdain is a reflection of feeling threatened somehow.”



    For the record I think rampant exploitation at the expense of any victim is disgusting and since this is a sports blog and there was some crossover here I chose to comment.

    Answer this question. Is Stringer using the incident to advance herself on the public stage and in terms of financial gain? My assertion is she is and while this is what everyone does there is no way around the fact that is damages her credibility. This is a pure a case of “cashing in” I have seen and that was my beef. As for Rutgers women the only complaint I had on them was the assertion by one player that she was “scarred for life” Other than that I think they got a raw deal in which they were jerked out into the spotlight and focused upon for something that had nothing to do with their skill on the court. What Stringer and others have done bothers me because the real victims endure all the trouble of having to address the issue while everyone else grabs the money.

    As for the comparison to people making money on VT is not the same thing unless the shooter’s roommates or someone else who knew him sign a book deal. All of the other analysts and what not are making money anyway. Stringer was the coach of the team and from the press conference to the appearances on Oprah to a book deal has parlayed it into a career advancing event.

    And I might add that despite how good his column was on this issue Jason Whitlock has crossed over into this territory as well.

  9. Kyle says:

    THF- Glad I could provide a chuckle for you!
    I don’t pretend to know enough about Vivian Stringer to know what her motivations are- It does appear she has been a good coach for the Rutgers women. If her motivations are as you suggest I don’t share your outrage.. for me its just not worth several pages of commentary and ire. On reflection I also don’t know enough about you to be guessing at your motivations in these recent posts. This site is your platform and I support your right to air whatever you choose. Since I so often find myself agreeing with your positions, particularly as they pertain to Billy Packer, I’m not liking being out of synch with you. But enough said on that- I enjoy your posts and of the many I have read in the last few years it is only these few that have come with some indigestion for me. Keep up the good work and thanks again for a great site.

  10. Tar Heel Fan says:

    It would appear I cause more indigestion among my readership when I move into sports/real world gray areas.

    Such is the offseason.

  11. Chris says:

    I think we are arguing about a non-issue. If Vivian Stringer or THF wants to write a book about their life experiences, good or bad, then so be it. That’s what America is all about, the freedom to express oneself. To condemn Stringer is to condemn anyone else in this country who has expressed their particular feelings about being oppresed, or what their good or bad experiences have been. I like your commentary on Tarheel sports THF but I think on this one you’ve missed the mark by a wide margin. Pull the burr out from under your skin and move on to more worthwhile issues. Maybe it is the offseason, but that’s no excuse for wandering carelessly into the political arena. Stringer can do what she wants under the rules of this country and I could care less about what Jason Whitlock thinks about it.

  12. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I never said she was not entitled to do what she wanted. In fact in my last paragraph I noted that I understood this was the nature of the game people in the public arena play, they go for the book deal or the Oprah interview when the issue is hot and there is something to be gained from it. My point which I think must be not as clear as it is when I an eviscerating Coach K is that Stringer is acting in total hypocrisy to stand there on one side and act as a moral authority on hate speech but then use the same scenario to cash in. So yes on one hand she is free to explore her market value but there is a price in terms of credibility.

    Interestingly enough the best take I have seen on the whole affair came from Bill Simmons who said in the chat today when someone asked him why he had not commented on it:

    I hated every single thing about that story and stayed away. Can’t stand Imus and was delighted to see him finally get taken down for the things that made him so loathsome, but at the same time, this country is in full Witch Hunt Mode and there’s going to be a time when somebody’s career is ruined for something that didn’t warrant having a career ruined. I just thought the way everything played out was disgusting, the Rutgers press conference/recruiting informercial made me particularly sick, as did the way everyone (public figures, writers, etc) used the story to pump up their own agendas. I hated everything about it. The good news is that it led to Mike and the Mad Dog trying to discuss non-sports issues every morning on WFAN.

    Actually he is wrong about Mike and the Mad Dog…they are horrible talking about anything but sports(sounds kind like this blog eh?) In fact I cannot figure out how Chris Russo has a job, his voice is annoying. Must be a NY thing. The rest of it is really spot on. It was all a mess, there were no winners only an offender, the offended, and a whole slew of opportunists looking for their angle.

    And I think that about wraps it, so let’s move on to wondering when Wright will announce his intentions.

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