Having sold its academic soul to pursue big-time television contract money when it decided to join the Big Ten conference, whose network eases the guilty conscience of each school’s president with as much as $25 million a year, Rutgers, who lost to Penn State on Saturday 28-3, now needs to hire a public relations firm to deal with the ugly aftermath of its decision. According to an article on Forbes.com:
In the last [month], seven players have been arrested. Four, including Barnwell [BFN: felicitous first name of Nadir], are charged with aggravated assault and two face armed robbery charges in connection with home invasions during April and May. The seventh player, wide receiver Leonte Carroo, is accused of slamming a woman’s head into concrete outside the Rutgers football facility. [BFN: In addition, head coach Kyle Flood has been suspended three games and fined $50,000 for improperly contacting a professor about a player’s grade.]
These arrests aren’t the result of scholar-athletes getting a bit carried away after the big game; there’s no drunk in public or public urination here, not even a DUI. On the plus side for damn-the-consequences Rutgers sports fans, the seriousness of the charges shows that the school is making a sincere effort to recruit the type of law breakers who play football and masquerade as students at the most successful college football programs (this list of “most arrested” school teams reads like a perennial top 25).
Recognizing that violent criminals often make great football players but also trying to give second chances to those who have paid their debts to society, Rutgers will fill the seven roster vacancies by creating a Football Apprenticeship Release Timetable program (“FART”) for violent but trusted felons at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. The program, similar to one at Florida State, will allow prisoners to leave confinement for practice and games but not to attend class (since class attendance is optional and actually discouraged at most top football schools). Continue reading