RU Alumni: Can UConn Save RU? 



RU67: Did you see where the University of Connecticut won that "March Madness" spectacle?

RU53: What's "March Madness"?

RU67: It's a basketball playoff. Their men's franchise won and their women's franchise won.

RU53: So? What's that got to do with Rutgers?

RU67: A lot. UConn could get us out of this sordid "Big Ten" conference the Scarlet R crowd on the BOG got us into. It's got schools like Ohio State, glorified community colleges swarming with beer-swilling yobbos who live to run around vandalizing property when some team wins a game.

Ohio State students celebrating Big Ten football victory in 2003. Owner of automobile is unidentified.

RU53:The BOG got us into that? I thought that guy Pernetti was responsible.

RU67: He's been fired. But Rutgers is still stuck in that "Big Ten."

RU53: So what makes you think that the University of Connecticut could save Rutgers? They're a pathetic school academically.

RU67: Actually, with the admissions policy it's had ever since getting into that "Big East" conference twenty years ago, Rutgers will be just as pathetic before too long. But the news is about sports.

RU53: UConn is a sports power?

RU67: Well, I didn't think so either. But a New York Times piece says the "Big Ten" should take UConn.

RU53: How does that help Rutgers?

RU67: Think about it. The "Big Ten" conglomerate needs only one New York area franchise to grab the TV market they're after. If they take UConn, they'd have that, right?

University of Connecticut students celebrating basketball victory in 2004. Owner of overturned car in foreground unidentified.Sign in rear, demonstrating school spirit, reads "I love UConn."(For this year's UConn celebration, click here on "UConn, Ready for the Big Ten!")

RU53: I get it! Then Rutgers could be released from that contract Pernetti locked the school into!

RU67: Read the Times article. See what you think.

RU53: I take your point. Rutgers could resume selective admissions. It could return to participatory athletics. It could be a great university again, the way it was before Scarlet R took over the Board of Governers!

RU67: I'm not predicting anything. Just take a look at the NYTimes story. See what you think.

RU53: I will. Right now.



College Basketball

Conference’s Snub Haunts UConn

by Harvey Araton

Not that long ago, Connecticut thought it was headed for the Atlantic Coast Conference but was said to have paid a price for the former coach Jim Calhoun’s scandal-ridden men’s program and its putrid graduation rates. Manuel said Ollie’s mandate had been to clear the stench, to raise the academic bar. Now Connecticut’s mediocre football team is said to be the deterrent.

Of course, the Big Ten accepted, in Rutgers, an equally undistinguished football team, a bad men’s basketball program and a declining women’s team. Rutgers has also produced a string of administrative embarrassments — the latest being an audio recording of Julie Hermann, the athletic director, telling students it “would be great” if The Star-Ledger, the Newark-based newspaper, went out of business. Beyond wishing unemployment on people, she reportedly told this to journalism students who might soon be, you know, looking for work at a newspaper.

Is common sense a prerequisite for the Big Ten? It supposedly wanted a foothold for its network in the New York area, but the former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese always said that, outside St. John’s, Syracuse and Connecticut were by far the biggest draws in New York.
There is hard evidence, too. Auriemma’s team has a television deal with the cable network SNY. Ollie’s upstarts took over Madison Square Garden in the New York regional.

“It’s something that a lot of my colleagues have commented on, that we’re a dominant team in the New York market,” Manuel said.

Maybe the folks at the Big Ten, whose Michigan State team was beaten by UConn in the final there, finally know that the Garden isn’t in Madison, N.J.

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