Bozos in the Classrooms at Rutgers

May 8, 2008

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 undergraduate riots make 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 automobiles on Saturday show up in class on Monday. 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 Ipod 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 Rutgers 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 to Rutgers to 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 Rutgers 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.”
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NFL Draft Report

April 28, 2008

Last weekend the NFL held its annual draft of college players and this morning brought an email from a Rutgers professor: “Doesn’t the comparative absence of draft picks from Big East schools suggest that Schiano’s ‘Cinderella’ record has been achieved, not just against the powder-puff out-of-conference teams Mulcahy always schedules, but also against weak in-conference opponents?”

The writer goes on to note that in the first 50 picks, the Big East had exactly two players. Rutgers, for its part, had two players selected in the entire draft. USC, by contrast, had 10 players picked. Ten!

We ran a few more numbers. The Big East had a total of 19 players picked, mainly in later rounds (where the chances of making the pro team are not usually good). The ACC had 35. The Pac-10 had 34. The SEC had 34. The Big 10 had 28.

A booster posted this summary of Big East draft picks on the Rivals message board.

The numbers don’t lie. Big East football is not professional grade and Rutgers definitely is not a major football power. And still the university’s checkbook is wide open to pay for more of everything for football.

And for this, Rutgers needs a $100+ million dollar stadium expansion?

So much money spent, so little on field success.