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.

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