From April to mid-June, Rutgers University was the Anthony Weiner of college sports.
Scandal after scandal, after yet another scandal, made them the laughingstock of the entire
nation. Their own administration didn't know who was on first, what was on second, and
certainly had no clue what was standing on third. Rutgers gave late-night comedians fodder
for their shows and the New York tabloids priceless material for its back pages.
Like Weiner, Rutgers embarrassed themselves to no end. The Mike Rice scandal exposed
a weak administration, who then hired a new coach whom they said graduated from Rutgers
but never did, and then selected a new athletic director who was Mike Rice before Mike Rice,
with a history of abusing her players when she was the volleyball coach at Tennessee almost
two decades ago. Due diligence? Rutgers proved they didn't know what it really was, much
less how to spell it.
Good, grief. Rutgers was a mess, suffering through one of the worst PR nightmares outside
of the train wreck at Penn State.
On Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights finally got one right. Finally.
The school announced they will retire the first number in the history of the football
program when they hang number 52 on the wall of fame at the stadium. That number belongs
to Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a game in October of 2010.
LeGrand is the best thing Rutgers has, a special person and a treasure they should hold onto
forever. A Top 15 recruit out of New Jersey, LeGrand is not likely to walk again, but he
acts as if he's the luckiest man on the planet. Every time I see LeGrand, he's always wearing
an ear-to-ear smile on his face.
LeGrande is an ambassador that Rutgers should have at every game, every year. He is
everything good about college sports and a man who is universally loved, respected, and the definition of class, courage, and hope. You can't help but smile when you see LeGrande smile.
This was a smart move by Rutgers, They bestowed a wonderful honor on an All-American
person who is more than worthy of it.
Good move, Rutgers. You finally got one right.