Came across an interesting quip by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post today. Phil apparently is upset with Rutgers University. He doesn't like the fact that Rutgers offered nine scholarships to football recruits from Florida. Now if Phil has anything against Florida, I don't know. But he certainly seems upset with Rutgers. Well let's look at exactly what Phil said:
"Rutgers' recruiting a-tax the senses Your tax dollars at work: Only nine of the 25 recruits who last week signed to play football at Rutgers, a New Jersey state college, are from Jersey. The same number, nine, were recruited from Florida. . . ."
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more
Notice the ellipsis at the end of Phil's witty remark. Usually this means we can expect more. God I hope so, it's been a boring winter.
So let's look at Phil's premise. Offering football scholarships to out of state high school students should offend New Jersey taxpayers. So Phil's thought is Rutgers should only recruit New Jersey football players? Sounds like a good idea. Of course Phil, you know there are certain academic requirements even for football players right? Well at least at Rutgers there are. So you do know Rutgers can't give a kid a football scholarship if he doesn't have the grades right? Even if he is from New Jersey.
Ok how about NJ kids with good grades that are good football players. Well let's look at the top 30 NJ football players for 2010 according to Rivals Recruiting. Out of the top 30 players, Rutgers got 5 of them. Not that RU wouldn't have liked more. In fact Rutgers offered scholarships to nine more of these thirty players according to Rivals. Problem is Phil, they chose to go somewhere else. Schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Maryland, Kansas, and Florida State love to recruit NJ kids. So much so that's where some of these kids went. Now Rutgers even went so far as to offer kids that weren't on the top 30 list. RU got 4 more NJ recruits this way. So while Rutgers gave NJ kids 9 scholarships it offered at least nine more of them. So out of it's 24 scholarships (not 25 as you erroneously noted) at least 18 were offered to NJ kids. Roughly 72%. Is that ok for your tax dollars Phil?
Now I don't want you to think it's some fluke that Rutgers offered that many scholarships to NJ kids this year. So let's look at last year shall we? Last year 10 out of Rutgers' 24 scholarships went to NJ athletes. According to Rivals, Rutgers offered at least 12 more scholarships to NJ students who chose to enroll elsewhere. That's almost 88% Phil.
In fact these percentages are much higher since I can only confirm through Rivals what scholarships Rutgers offered to the top 30 NJ players. As you can see from 2010, Rutgers offers kids that aren't on the top 30 list as well. I have no idea of how many of those kids decided to go to another school. So as you can see, Rutgers usually uses or at least offers the overwhelming majority of its scholarships to New Jersey kids.
Now Phil, if you can somehow use your legendary powers of persuasion to convince Notre Dame, Penn State and the rest to return those 9 NJ players that went elsewhere, I'm sure Greg Schiano would be eternally grateful. And Phil, do us all a favor and stick to insulting Mike Francesa. Because you're not funny at all when you don't know what you're talking about.