Bob – Are You Kidding Me? I saw your Op-Ed piece in the November 1st Star Ledger. Rutgers football is on a tear – and deservedly so. Rutgers’ football athletes and coaches have dedicated themselves to excellence and they are achieving it. But don’t forget that New Jersey and its residents have invested heavily in Rutgers’ football program for decades and, until very recently, there has been little return. Think about the stadium bonds, the student fees, the head coach real estate deal etc., etc. New Jersey and its residents are entitled to hold Rutgers’ Athletic Department accountable just as much as they are entitled to celebrate Rutgers’ victories or lament Rutgers’ defeats.
Your claim that “a small but vocal group of people…refuse to recognize that outstanding academics and athletics can coexist at Rutgers…” is bogus. You know that this small but vocal group, which includes, among others, Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan and the members of the Assembly Higher Education Committee have called you and Rutgers to account for arbitrarily and capriciously eliminating Rutgers Varsity Men’s Tennis, Swimming, Fencing, Lightweight and Heavyweight Crew and Women’s Fencing.
This small but vocal group believes in student-athletics and knows that the student-athletes in these eliminated sports are among the top academic performers at Rutgers – athlete or not. Rutgers has been called upon to reinstate these shining examples of how “academics and athletics can coexist at Rutgers” but Rutgers has turned its back. Rutgers cut these sports, you shouldn’t whine because the victims object. You should do the right thing and reinstate them.