Failing Grades

Memo to high schoolers who are committing to come to play football at Rutgers: know that you can do better. Rutgers’ academic decline has been well-documented — the school now is on a par with Texas A &M as the once public ivy has become a weed. But even worse for prospective footballers is how thoroughly Rutgers has failed its players:

* Do more Rutgers football players go onto the NFL…or into jail?

* Do more Rutgers football players graduate…or leave school without a degree?

* Did you know that — amidst the ebullience over high schoolers who commit to play at Rutgers — one in ten will never make it onto the team because of an inability to meet the minimal academic “standards” set out by the NCAA?

Probably the real shocker — amidst Mulcahy III’s crowing about Rutgers’ APR (Academic Progress Rate) — is that only 46% of RU footballers wind up with a degree in six years, the poorest performance among Big East schools. The rest of the student athletes at Rutgers have a 75 percent graduation rate. All RU students have a 72 percent graduation rate. Something is very rotten when — with tutors, gut courses and more — not even half of Schiano’s footballers graduate. If you believe that makes the APR “success” look like so much hooey, welcome to the side of clear thinking uninfluenced by the musky smell of jockstraps.

Then there’s the jail issue. Every other year one of Schiano’s kids goes to jail — compared to one kid a year going into the NFL. The nod goes to the NFL, unless of course you are the kid in jail or that kid’s victims.

Mulcahy III and university president Slick McCormick are incessantly ready to cite the APR standings — where Rutgers football is indeed among the highest rated programs — but they neglect to mention that there are many other metrics that show football under Schiano to be a laggard, a program that fails its players as often as it has failed its fans.

Get more details in this Star Ledger round-up from the archives.

Our advice to the early commits — verbals are non-binding, so start thinking anew about where you really want to go to school.

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