Stringer: Chaney deserved to be in Big East

John Chaney guided the Temple men’s basketball program to 17 NCAA tournament appearances. (Dan Loh/AP File)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rutgers women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer is elated that Temple is set to become one of the newest members of the Big East Conference.

The Owls will become a football member next season. Temple will join for all other sports in 2013-14.

“They should have been in the Big East,” she said at the Big East’s spring meetings. “John Chaney, that’s where he deserved to be playing.”

Chaney guided  the Temple men’s basketball program to 17 NCAA tournament appearances – including five NCAA regional finals – during his 24-season career on North Broad Street.  A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of the Fame, Chaney compiled 741 wins as a college coach before retiring in 2006. The coach was 516-252 at Temple, where he won seven Atlantic 10 titles.

“The thing I most regret is I wish they would have been in the Big East when he was there,” said Stringer, who along with Chaney coached at Cheyney State in the 1970s. “ I got to believe that probably one of the biggest reasons [Temple wasn’t an all-sports Big East member] was because of him.  

“You know, because the man was just brilliant.”

While she wouldn’t name specific member institutions, Stringer believes Temple was previously blocked from joining the Big East.

“Whatever reason that happened,” she said. “It was the politics of it or whatever. But I think throughout the country, we’ve seen a number of programs who have made it their business to make sure other programs don’t get in.  And I’m not talking about just the Big East, I’m talking about everywhere.”