Tuesday, February 20, 2007

We Could Have Been Rutgers... Rutgers Could Have Been US

There's an interesting editorial in the Asbury Park Press, (NJ), today coming out against the big new contract for Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and the school's big football push of late.

Here's the key paragraph: "What was wrong with a football schedule that included Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Colgate and Lehigh? What is to be gained, other than satisfying the adolescent craving of some alumni for gridiron supremacy, by vanquishing the likes of Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati on autumn afternoons? Every Rutgers student and every New Jersey taxpayer deserves an honest, intelligent answer."

You can read the whole article here: Asbury Park Press.

The question of what big football success brings to an individual college has cropped up in the news media over the last few years. I've always felt the Ivy League has it about right. While I think almost every school takes a financial loss on football, the ability to bring together a few thousand students and alumni, (and sometimes tens of thousands), is invaluable for a number of reasons, not the least of which the findraising opportunity.

And as long as the athletes are REAL STUDENTS, which they almost always are in the Ivy League, we should not forget the value to body and mind that competing in athletics brings to the individual. We've known this to be true since the days of ancient Greece, and frankly I think more physical education should be reintroduced to our colleges. Our nation's growing problem with obesity is just one result of a lack of physical activity in the daily lives of people of all ages.

That's the end of my rant for today.


At Tue Feb 20, 10:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Domer '72 said...

Jake - I saw the article this morning and just thought it was a premise without an argument. The decision was made years ago and I think there is a place for both views. The idea of the people of NJ deserving an answer is nuts; the author must not have received the memo in the 70s. If you want the Ivy route, get the grades and go to Princeton (or Penn, or Columbia...) - and, remember, Princeton used to be the "College of New Jersey." Ironic.

At Wed Feb 21, 04:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rutgers isn't that good a school. It was a pretty decent place at one time but lacked the funding, the faculty, etc. to become a premier national university. Neither Rutgers not any of the other state schools in the Northeast are really capable of achieving the level of excellence of a Berkeley or a Michigan, because the state legislature simply doesn't want to spend that kind of money. The solution is to try to make a name through football. It's a shortcut to national recognition. As for dropping down and playing the Ivies, that worked until the mid-70s, when Rutgers used the fact that it has low admissions standards to admit players who couldn't get into an Ivy or even a Patriot League school.

At Wed Feb 21, 04:40:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Some departments at Rutgers are very good, and its proximity to NYC makes it a very attractive choice for a lot of students. But many of my friends who went there do say the infrastructure of the school has been neglected for a long time. Even the sports fans are a little upset that classroom buildings are still in bad shape while the football program gets more and more money.

But if I were a high school senior with interests in the departments where Rutgers is strong, I'd really consider Rutgers and its improved football program would be a draw.


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