Earlier today, NJ Advance Media’s Keith Sargeant broke the news that the groundbreaking for the new practice facility would take place on November 1st. The Rutgers Athletics department confirmed the date earlier on this afternoon. However, even bigger news was broken by Sargeant late this afternoon.
BREAKING: Rutgers expected to secure $10M for practice facility naming rights with N.J.-based company https://t.co/KCC0tILz8d— Keith Sargeant (@KSargeantNJ) October 18, 2016
Sarge’s report broke news that RWJBarnabas is close to being approved for the naming rights for the practice facility. However, there is more. The contribution from RWJBarnabas is expected to be “well north” of $10 million and that athletic director Pat Hobbs has been the key to making this deal happen. In addition, Sarge highlights what to me is the most exciting part of the entire deal:
A key component of the deal, according to multiple sources, is a plan for RWJBarnabas Health to take up residence in both the multisport facility and in the Hale Center, the Rutgers football team's headquarters attached to High Point Solutions Stadium.
What that means is Rutgers' 600-plus student-athletes will have unprecedented access to a team of specialty physicians and nutrition and wellness experts throughout the year.
Industry insiders say that would put Rutgers Athletics as a leader among college athletics programs nationally in providing healthcare service to its student-athletes.
Wow! Simply put, this type of partnership would be a game changer for Rutgers athletics and a major selling point in recruiting for every sports program at the University. This is the type of deal that changes the trajectory of our athletics department in a positive way forever. To read the full story from Sarge, click here.
It’s been a rough fall on the field for Rutgers, but as we’ve been saying all along, the future is bright now that the right leadership is in place. However, none of us could have imagined that the future held such a potentially positive deal for Rutgers athletics. The report indicates the naming rights deal and all the details will be announced on November 1st at the groundbreaking for the practice facility.
If true, it would be a fitting end to arguably the most significant year in the athletic department’s history. President Robert Barchi hired Pat Hobbs as athletic director on November 29th, 2015. In just 11 months, he has completely reshaped the department and the future for both it and the University. He has made many significant and positive moves, as well as avoided potential pitfalls that have sunken his predecessors.
This time last year the Rutgers football team was embroiled in multiple controversies, our athletic director was a disaster, the department had no direction and the future seemed hopeless. Today, we live in a new world of Rutgers athletics, one that is truly the beginning of a better future ahead. I’ve said it many times before and it certainly won’t be the last time either. In Hobbs We Trust!