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Knight Caps: We have a veritable panoply of things to talk about

Come for the sports, stay for all the little tidbits we like to share when we have nothing else to do

We know why you come here. Football. Or basketball. Maybe the other sports on occasion. But we know that deep in your heart of hearts you just love all the other side stuff that goes on. And that’s why we’re here.

Why not wrestling?

Practice has begun for D1 wrestlers and the early rankings are starting to appear, with Rutgers having three grapplers ranked by The Open Mat.

Last season, Rutgers was one of only three schools to send all ten weight classes to the NCAA Tournament. Anthony Ashnault, the redshirt junior, will be looking for his third All America recognition. Richie Lewis is a senior and Nick Gravina is a redshirt junior.

Dealing with the UM well as stupidity

First there was this tweet by Bennett Jackson, Jr.

For the record, Bennett is from Hazlet, NJ, went to Notre Dame, was drafted in 2014 in the sixth round by the Giants....and after an injury was eventually waived last August. He is unemployed football-wise.

That was followed by this:

David is a landscaper at Notre Dame. And clueless. My point? Don’t accept this. Fight back. Wear your Rutgers gear and tell people to stick it. Not like our former star, Tiquan Underwood. He really ticked me off.

But that wasn’t enough....he kept going.

And as they say on the infomercials: But wait, there’s more:

Needless to say, it didn’t sit well with others, others being Rutgers fans who cheered TU during his playing days.

Now before you go all crazy on him (which you should for what he wrote), he is still a good human being. He went here as a member of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

Campus Eats

Food, glorious food. I was never a big fan of the musical “Oliver”. So, that brings us to BTN’s Campus Eats. And guess who was on just...last...night!

Uh, band? Whassup here?

Well, Brett, no, they hadn’t given up. But it did rile up fans because it wasn’t just in the pregame show on the field that they played Michigan’s fight song. The situation did get the attention of the press who followed up on it.

Read the article. To berate the band, to curse at the band - your own band - is bad form. Those kids can’t bail out of a blowout like their peers do, and did. They stick it out and they keep playing and cheering. Can we all say that? As the article’s headline says, “Bad Optics”. Did it look bad? Yes, yes it did. But if you’re going to dump on someone, dump on the director. Tim Smith explains the actions - maybe in hindsight a bad idea - but it was not a slap at RU or its fans or its players. And as I wrote on Twitter at the time, if we’re complaining about the band, we really have hit bottom.

It’s Jersey....there’s always politics

If you haven’t been following along, or if you’ve been overwhelmed by national politics, there’s a governor’s race next year in the Garden State. Christie can’t run again (I’ll wait for the cheering to stop) and the Democrats have already pretty much chosen a former ambassador to Germany, Phil Murphy. Why is that worth mentioning here?

That’s our financial champion Ray Lesniak, the man who got us the $25M seed money for new facilities. And until just a few days ago, was considering a run for governor. And that’s the same Steve Sweeney who, a few years ago, tried to steal Rutgers Camden for Rowan and his South Jersey patronage people and who is at it again trying to manipulate and control Rutgers.

The Star Ledger’s editorial is pretty blunt in opposing Sweeney:

Increasing politicians’ power to appoint the board of governors invites political meddling and threatens the school’s independence....

The Rutgers Act of 1956 wasn’t written to prevent change. Rutgers can evolve, if the governors and trustees agree to it.

The law was written, however, with such interference in mind. Nearly 50 years ago, Rutgers’ wise elders entrusted an enormous asset to the state, and penned language to keep New Jersey’s politicians from abusing their authority over a new toy. What foresight.

Another addition to softball

Back in August, Rutgers Softball hired a new Associate Head Coach, someone who had extensive and highly successful experience at some high level softball programs. The other day, they added another. From the RU press release:

Head coach Jay Nelson has announced the addition of Roya St. Clair as an assistant coach of the Rutgers softball program. A former Big Ten standout at the University of Michigan, St. Clair joins the staff following a stint as an assistant coach at University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her time at UIC, St. Clair spent four seasons as a volunteer and assistant coach at Memphis.

“.... As a player, she competed at Michigan and was a part of three Big Ten Championship teams. Additionally, she played in the NPF which is the top women’s softball league in the world. She is impressive and humble at the same time,” said Nelson.

“We are looking forward to the excitement of a new beginning with another new coach that has experience in winning championships. Championships are only won through working hard and doing the right things to prepare. When it comes to coaching I am confident that Roya will pay it forward by sharing the knowledge and temperament we need to be champions.”

Now I’m wondering if this is a planned change to focus on softball as the next sport to address. New football coach, new men’s basketball coach, new fundraising campaign, new indoor practice facility for baseball and softball. Two new coaches in softball. Let’s see where this goes.

It is so-o-o-o easy to hate Off Tackle Empire

I got started reading blogs by reading OTE. That didn’t last too long. And after the horrible game against Michigan, our sister blog (I’m pretty sure she’s adopted) wrote another wonderful tribute to Rutgers:

And, of course, a 78-0 score does tend to create notice, and people - most of whom don’t know anything about Rutgers other than they just lost to UM 78-0 - will take shots. Including why is RU in the Big Ten.

My words of wisdom? Hang tough, boys and girls. We reached the ninth circle of hell last Saturday. I think we may have hit bottom and we should be on our way up.