Racism at Rutgers?

September 28, 2008

Rutgers’ two biggest stars were suspended for the Morgan State exhibition — a sign that insiders say indicates a program hopelessly out of control.  There has been no official word on why the players were suspended, but there is plenty of speculation here.  

Some suggest racism — at the very least, a toxic double standard — played a role since Greedy Greg Schiano did not suspend white qb Mike Teel for slugging a teammate, but did suspend two rising African-American stars for an unspecified violation of team policies.  Lacking insight into what the players did to get suspended, we have no comment — but we will say it is intriguing that rumors of racism in the leadership of the football program are now rampant.  

Incidentally, per usual with the moral relativist Schiano, the young stars — who weren’t needed in a scrimmage against weak-sister Morgan State — will be reinstated for next week’s crucial Big East game against West Virginia.  Reminiscent, isn’t it, of Schiano’s sophistry re the Justin Francis fiasco. Count on Greedy Greg to take the moral high road, at least when nothing is on the line.

Game attendance for the Morgan State exhibition hit new lows, per the Star Ledger, a sentiment echoed by posters to the booster message board.  It’s obvious that a sagging Rutgers team won’t draw crowds sufficient to pay for a stadium expansion, meaning that if it occurred, NJ taxpayers would be stuck with the bill.  Basic maths skills indicate why this $100 million waste will never happen.

We like the lead to today’s NY Times game reporting:  “Bad weather joined forces with a bad team to keep many fans away from Rutgers Stadium on Saturday. “

Racism, Exploitation, and Worse

April 9, 2008

Perhaps it is a good thing that the Rutgers men’s basketball team is the worst in the Big East and that the football team is mired in mediocrity. That’s because the evidence mounts that bigtime college sports ruthlessly exploit the players (often minorities), for the benefit of the universities and the (primarily white) boosters. In the News & Tribune, basketball coach Lou Lefevre calls the NCAA the National Conspiracy Against Athletes and, in a recent column, he writes: “There is no other American entity that even approaches the unconstitutional exploitation that occurs with these college athletes.”

At the crux of Lefevre’s upset is the NCAA rule that athletes cannot receive monetary rewards (other than tuition, room, board), whilst successful sports programs — think Notre Dame, Kansas basketball, USC — are awash in riches. Lefevre writes: “This restriction [against pay for athletes] is as discriminatory as not allowing certain races or religions to vote or own property. Nothing can be more un-American than restricting a person’s ability to benefit from the actions of their hard work and ability.”

Read Lefevre’s hard-hitting column.

Then think about how Greg Schiano went from one of the lower-paid coaches in the Big East to the highest-paid state employee in New Jersey.

We hold to our position that Rutgers boosters should stop wearing red to the game and go for white instead.

Are bigtime college sports racist?

April 8, 2008

That question brings to mind other, notorious toughies like is the Pope Catholic, does Communist China trample human rights, is Dick McCormick a do-nothing university president?

“You basically have a massive wealth transfer from a smallish number of football and basketball players — a significant percentage of whom are racial minorities, and a significant percentage of whom are poor — to a group of nonrevenue sport athletes, male and female, who are disproportionately white and middle or upper-middle class,” says Penn State law professor Stephen F. Ross in a provocative Detroit Free Press story about the absolute unfairness of college sports.

As Freep columnist Michael Rosenberg asks:

“Why can schools make millions off their football and basketball players without paying them?

Because that is the only way they can make millions off them.”

It’s a good piece, read it. A Ray Rice is exploited so that a Greg Schiano — with a lifetime losing record coaching a team that is charitably called mediocre — can earn a staggering $1.8 million, making him New Jersey’s highest paid public employee.

Maybe the Rutgers boosters should turn in their red shirts for white sheets.

It might be more truthful packaging.