Even longtime Rutgers fan Home News & Tribune columnist Paul Franklin now has grumbles about how the monomaniacal pursuit of bigtime sports is leading the university astray. He writes: I would be remiss if I did not go on record as saying WCTC program manager Bruce Johnson got the shaft when he was replaced as the voice of Rutgers basketball. A long-time loyal fan of the school, there was no need to pull the plug. None. Yet again our state university continues to pick on those who have shared their loyalty and been around campus for years. And that includes football patrons who are losing their long-time seating locations. Yes, those are the pitfalls of progress to the big-time, but it seems there could be just a little more compassion.
And Rutgers has jettisoned compassion for what? That question stings because the answer is for nothing. Rutgers is a desperately mediocre football team — #56 in the nation, eerily just below Texas A & M, the school Rutgers is tied with (at 64) in the US News & World Report rankings. In The Trentonian, assistant sports editor Ben Doody puts some context around Rutgers and its Big East conference brethren: “The more I watch Big East teams embarrass themselves – and that’s happened now in consecutive weeks – the more I’m convinced that, with apologies to the ACC, the Big East is clearly the worst of the six BCS conferences.” Ouch.
Lastly, a reader wrote in with this tip: “Little birdie has it that some certain parkers at Rutgers football games are getting preferential treatment. Check into it. One even had a parking cone reserving his spot. The old phone call and a wink,alive and well.” The examples of Trentonization at Rutgers just keep mounting.
The good news of course is that as the Rutgers Season of Discontent plods forward — and fans abandon the Schianogate miseries — the parking situation will get a lot better. Of course Rutgers losses on football will only deepen, which will mean more and bigger tuition hikes for Rutgers students.