After the disbanding of Rutgers 1000 – the end of formally organized resistance to “big-time” football and basketball programs at Rutgers – and Rutgers’ winning football season a year ago, one would have thought the controversy about commercialized athletics at Rutgers to be dead.
Instead it has a vigor like it never had before, a vigor it did not have when I was there and the sports teams were an annual disappointment to both boosters (they lost games) and critics (they cost lots of money and resources). Professor Dowling isn’t merely getting good press, he’s getting awful press – he has just been attacked as “racist” by the administration.
They’re scared of something, otherwise they wouldn’t have hurled that idiotic charge. But of what could they be scared?
- They could be scared that what the Rutgers student body is becoming will undo them wholly publicly.
- They could be scared of anything that sheds light on how exactly Rutgers got into “big-time” sports in the first place: it wasn’t the most democratic of processes, to say the least.
But I think what they’re most scared of is Prof. Dowling’s book – Confessions of a Spoilsport. That book effectively means that history will know the administration to be the sad people they are: criminally negligent (if not actually criminal in some cases, there are seedier stories about President McCormick circulating) regarding the future of the University, doing anything to win cheap popularity and quick cash.
They have to react in the vile manner they’re acting now, perhaps: while it is not clear Rutgers can be saved, the reputation of the administration is all but destroyed, and the only defense left is character assassination of one’s betters.