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Rutgers football can pound its chest in moral superiority

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Paul Franklin seems to be back writing stories about Rutgers football for Gannett New Jersey, but his replacement last year in Stephen Edelson isn't going away anywhere either if his Friday column is any indication.

Say what you want about coach Greg Schiano, and his critics have never been shy. But whatever his relative strengths and weaknesses, there's no arguing that the guy runs a clean program.

That's not to say he has a roster full of Boy Scouts. But his teams rarely, if ever, have off-field controversies shedding a negative light on the university, or investigations that overshadow the team.

Most people who follow the football program in some capacity should already be aware of this. The APR scores are excellent (the NCAA is now keeping a database of coach APR scores, viewable here), you can count on one hand the number of players who have gotten in trouble with the law over the past decade, and the NCAA isn't snooping around the Hale Center. That's Lane Kiffin's department.

It's common knowledge to someone who would go out of their way to read this site, but it may not be to the general public. It's important to remember in any discussion about the football program and/or athletic department that not all parties may be working from the same context of facts. There's always going to be demagogues and intractable partisans who just simply do not care about facts.

Don't make the mistake of painting that brush too broadly though. Be charitable and assume that a much larger plurality are not acting purely in bad faith. In this instance I'm thinking of someone like Harvey Araton of the New York Times, who's leveled several unfair criticisms towards Rutgers football and Coach Schiano over the past few years. What a sad commentary that merely doing as ought to be expected is worthy of being highlighted, but it's a small price to pay for getting across the message that not cutting corners cannot be equated with throwing money into an incinerator.