Stringer won't return to Rutgers for NCAAs

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, who has been on sick leave since Feb. 24, will not be returning for the NCAA tournament as she had initially planned.

Rutgers announced Thursday that Stringer was advised by her doctors to continue to rest to achieve full recovery. The Scarlet Knights, 22-9 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten, advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament and are expected to get an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

Assistant Tim Eatman will continue as acting head coach through the NCAA tournament. Stringer got her 1,000th victory early this season and plans to return to her job when she has recovered.

"The invitation to play in the NCAA tournament is a crowning achievement for any team," Stringer said in a statement. "It speaks to the great effort on the part of our players and we are certainly hopeful that they will be rewarded on Monday. I am truly disappointed that I will not be able to join them, but I need to listen to my doctors.

"Being away from my team has been more difficult than I could have imagined, but thankfully they are under the great care of Tim Eatman and my assistants. I wish everyone the best and I will be cheering every step of the way."

Stringer, who turns 71 on Saturday, began her coaching career at Cheyney in 1972 and has led that program, Iowa and Rutgers to the Women's Final Four.

"We look forward to Coach Stringer continuing her Hall of Fame career," Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a statement, "and making a positive impact upon the lives of our student-athletes."