Get Email Updates from NBT
PISCATAWAY, NJ—Suffering its worst loss in nearly 130 years, the Rutgers University football team struggled for the second week in a row, shut out in their home stadium by a laughably lopsided margin.
The loss, by a final score of 78-0, was so bad that it raised questions about the school’s decision to focus on big-time athletics, including a recent decision to join the “Big Ten” athletic conference.
Since joining the conference, the school has been the subject of scandal after scandal, many of which led to big payouts to alleged victims, while alleged perpetrators have been paid millions not to work.
As we reported previously, HBO’s “Real Sports” had previously focused on the massive financial losses incurred by the Rutgers athletics program, which cost taxpayers and tuition-payers $312 million dollars over a twelve-year period.
Though Rutgers often touts its role in inventing the popular sport of football, it has rarely found itself among the nation’s top football programs.
The last time the Scarlet Knights squad sufferred such a bad defeat on the gridiron was in 1888, when the Princeton Tigers defeated Rutgers 82-0.
This time it was the Michigan Wolverines, a team that just two years ago lost to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on the same field, that were responsible for the epic blowout.
The 78-0 loss came just one week removed from the team being shut out 58-0 by the Ohio State Buckeyes, but Rutgers did not have “homefield advantage” in that matchup.
The team has not won since the university’s controversial decision to put an end to a student-oriented, school-sponsored tailgate party known as “the Alley.”
New Brunswick Today was the first to release video showing Athletic Director Patrick Hobbs drinking a beer while addressing a crowd of students at the party prior to the team’s victory over New Mexico.
After the school cancelled the party, sparking controversy and garnering national media attention, Rutgers lost its next game to the Iowas Hawkeyes 14-7, before facing two of the top teams in the nation.
The loss to Michigan was particularly demoralizing because it came against an opponent that has fiercely competed with Rutgers when it comes to recruiting some of New Jersey’s most talented athletes, and also because 200 of Rutgers top prospects were in attendance for the big game, which was televised nationally on ESPN2.
The Rutgers team, led by new coach Chris Ash, will live to see another day, as they move on to face Illinois at home on Saturday, October 15.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.