Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Supporting Rutgers’ Football Team

by Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick
As submitted; published in the Daily Record and the Jersey Journal on January 5, 2007

Thank you, New Jersey, for supporting the Rutgers football team through the glorious 2006 season. Week after week, Coach Greg Schiano and his players thrilled us with their explosive offense, their outstanding defense, and, when it was all done, eleven hard-won games. Who will ever forget the final moments of the November 9 game against Louisville; or Ray Rice’s powerful touchdown runs; or Brian Leonard’s extraordinary athleticism, exceptional team leadership, and national recognition with an award known as the “Academic Heisman”?

Just as important, the Rutgers football team became a source of pride for the people of New Jersey. Everywhere across the state, people of all ages were talking about the team and discovering new friends who shared their excitement. Many of them learned more about Rutgers than ever before and found an identity with their state university. They learned about some of Rutgers’ distinguished academic programs and about the tens of thousands of New Jerseyans we educate each year.

Rutgers’ football success has also brought greater national visibility to our university and our state. Last week, more than 10,000 Rutgers fans visited Houston, Texas, where Rutgers won the first-ever Texas Bowl game. The Texans were incredibly hospitable to everyone from Rutgers and New Jersey. They were bursting with pride in their home state and with support for their own great state universities, like the University of Texas and Texas A&M. But they also let us know how pleased they were that an “academic powerhouse” like Rutgers was there in Houston to compete in the Texas Bowl.

So thank you, New Jersey, for supporting Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. We’re proud to be your academic powerhouse, as well as your nationally ranked football program!