A Rutgers professor wrote us an email that warrants becoming its own blog entry because she taps into how pervasive fan violence is becoming at Rutgers. According to this professor, the terrifying violence highlighted by Rees and Schnepel just scratches the surface.
Let the Rutgers prof pick up the argument about how bigtime sports have degraded the Rutgers student body:
“Game-day violence is the least of the problems. Yes, the undergraduatemake the news, and yes, the drunken bonfires in the downtown area provide a spectacle for TV coverage. Sometimes you can hear the obscenities howled by students in the background on telecasts. The pictures of overturned cars and smashed windows and ‘victory graffiti’ after the game are fairly dramatic.Still, the big problem about college sports violence isn’t what happens on game day. It’s what happens when the drunken students who were turning over automobilesshow up in class . In lecture classes, the same yobbo who was screaming obscenities from the stands is the one in the fifteenth row — always wearing a baseball cap, for some reason — who spends the period playing video games on his laptop or text-messaging his buddies. He’s the one who cheats his way through midterms and finals, and pays a term paper company to get the essay he turns in for a course grade. In smaller classes, he’s the one who leans back and listens to his while everyone else is discussing the material, and who answers “huh?” when he’s called on. He’s usually unshaven, and wears a sweatshirt still stained with vomit from his last post-game party. He is, in short, someone you wouldn’t sit next to on a bus. Yet someone has let him into as a ‘college student.’In the pre-Big East era, students like this were a tiny minority — not least, probably, because very few made it past the admissions office. By the late 1990’s they were already becoming an increasingly visible presence on campus. (I know at least two colleagues who took early retirement because, as one of them told me, he’d come toto teach at a university, not a reform school.) In the period since 2000, as the Mulcahy-Schiano sports buildup was attracting more attention, this type of undergraduate has become dominant. It’s not hard to foresee a time when it’s the only type is able to draw. If Rees and Schnepel really want to study the effects of big time athletics on public universities, they should forget about post-game criminality and sit in on some classes during the week.”