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Going Away to College, Rutgers Edition // BIG 2022

Ditch my lecture to watch the girls play soccer

Blink 182 at 1999 Billboard Music Awards Photo by Scott Harrison/Liaison

New Faces, New... cashflow.

Rutgers was doin’ a little work this offseason. Coming off a 5-8 record that earned them a trip to the Gator Bowl and a beatdown at the hands of Wake Forest (really?) - Schiano and crew have been making some moves to attempt to solidify some big gaps.

I don’ t know if you’ve seen the Scarlet Knights play recently, but they’re usually a bit undersized in the line category. They’re bringing in four OL transfers from Minnesota, Colorado State, U-Louisiana/Monroe, and and FCS All-American/All Conference cat from Sacred Heart. In addition to bringing in the best OL in the state, Jacob Allen.

You’ve also probably watched the games and thought... man, their receivers get no separation. Or as the middle schoolers would say “no cap, slow WR”, or “that WR corps is mids”. Again, here comes the Schianocopter bringing in two transfers from Syracuse and WVU to back up the departed Bo Melton, and add to, well, whoever else is in that position this year.

You probably also noticed that the play calling suited a pop warner 6-2 defense, rather than anything that could stop a B1G team. Coaching changes are all over:

OC: No change

DC: From Minnesota: Joe Harasymiak

Specials: Uhh... no one? Maybe some dude named Keith Bruno. WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BRUNO

And a myriad of new faces + position room changes on the offensive side. RB to OL; OL to RB; new WR coach; DL promoted from grad assistant, etc.

In short - a lot of new faces showing up to the Banks this year all over the field, whether they be transfers, new recruits, coaches, or people just in different roles.

Remember move in day? Whether you had to lug everything to school yourself, or had a parent who actually cared about your well being as an adult? I’m... a considerable amount of time away from my time at Rutgers, but I still remember my weird-ass roommate freshman year and all of the friends that I met and still try to tailgate with at least once a year (MIGHT BE THE IOWA GAME THIS YEAR, HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS).

Question 1: Best... and/or worst memory from the first month of college?

BuffKomodo:My best memory from said time period was the first time I got drunk. After pushing it off a week, peer pressure got the better of me and would set the stage for my future weekend endeavors. I got hammered but had some really good dudes help pace me and, from my recollection, was the life of the weekend. Didn’t really have a bad memory from the specified timeline either. Just the beginning of my 5 year Rumspringa if you will.

HWAHSQB: I went to a rush party, went home with a girl I just met, got lost on the way back to my dorm and slept in the stairwell of a parking garage. (You can decide what of that was the best/worst)

andrewkosciuszko: Worst memory, no question, was finding out what “Facebook” was. It was 2006, you still had to have a .edu email to get it, and I went to a small high school where everybody knew everybody. Sigh, to go back to those days. I didn’t realize it at the time don’t think many college students do - but I met the people who endedup being my closest college friends in the first week.

Not the ones you meet the first few days, that’s just chance and those connections fizzle.

misdreavus79: College was a wee bit away from me at this point, but I think my best memory had to have been going around and seeing a different environment, and all the “possibilities,” as cheesy as it sounds, available to me.

TMI alert: I come from a background where college isn’t really something that we do. So, being just the second person in my whole family to have even made it to college (and the first to actually graduate), when I had no expectation of even doing so, made the whole “you won’t have to work in your mom’s business like the rest of us” real. Like, really real. So I used the first few weeks to join all the extra curricular activities I couldn’t join in high school because I was too busy working.

As per my worst memory, well, I don’t actually remember. It was a party, and I didn’t particularly engage in binge drinking prior to that point, and, well, the cop who called my room to remind me of what happened was really nice I guess?

How is Rutgers managing NIL?

Ugh. Of course, instead of just getting old wealthy white oil tycoons to pay for their recruits, Rutgers has to take the lead into some new-collaborative venture that spins NIL a different way.

As recent as last month, Rutgers has launched an NIL collective with both executive sponsors for each sport and a board of trustees. I believe the goal is to like, crowdfund NIL opportunities? This isn’t the first of it’s kind, but certainly the most unique. It’s almost like Twitch finds NIL deals for Rutgers Athletes. Most of these programs (Texas, most notably) are just collecting funds and paying players $1M or more. This move is more to get sponsorship collectives using donations then have a board bring on sponsorship deals to the right participants.

If NFTs enter this discussion, I’m out. I will stop writing, I will stop watching, and I will permanently move to Europe and be the OTE Handball blogger for the Danish domestic league.

Question 2: How will NIL money affect how student athletes live on campus, now that they can make significant (i.e. house) purchases?

misdreavus79: Nothing much will change there I’d assume, since they could already do that for the most part, except now it’s above board. Most athletes are in their own bubbles already, and the ones who take school seriously are going to class already, while the ones who don’t, well, don’t. So I don’t think NIL is going to change the day-to-day of anyone, other than now some have more money, while others have public money.

BuffKomodo: My first thought was that I believe it actually won’t change things much at the powerhouse schools in the purchase category. It’ll mostly just allow athletes to be more open and flashy with their hauls. Things are as they have always been and that’s that.

Then rereading the question, it kind of solidified my answer in my head. I don’t think you’ll see much of an uptick with purchases of that category in college athletics...because that had always been taking place.

Most of the dudes who are getting major NIL money were gonna get paid regardless and/or their parents were gonna buy them a condo at school anyway. Now it’s just above board.

HWAHSQB: Stop changing things!!! I want the B1G to be 10 teams and all the payments to players in cash in brown paper bags, dammit!! (shakes fist at cloud)

andrewkosciuszko: A fair question.

Schools that have already sunk big money into badly-concealed athlete housing aren’t going to want to waste that money, and not all the players are going to be getting six figures.

Plus, even the best players are mostly still going to be around their teammates, aren’t they? I’d bet those dorms still get use. Not, uh, that this is a seemly or desirable aspect of college athletics, but hey man, that’s where the world has moved.

Rutgers’ Schedule:

9/3 @ Boston College

9/10 Wagner

9/17 @ Temple

9/24 Iowa

10/1 @ Ohio State

10/7 Nebraska

10/22 Indiana

10/29 @ Minnesota

11/5 Michigan

11/12 @ Michigan State

11/19 Penn State

11/26 @ Maryland