Jim Delanys Rutgers/Big Ten idea was bad then and is worse now

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St. John’s and St. Thomas were playing a football game at Allianz Field last weekend. During a stoppage, there was a press box discussion as to the challenge the Gophers would be facing that afternoon at Rutgers — namely, none.

Bob Sansevere was there from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and I said: “You’re a New Jersey lad, Bob. You must have grown up a Rutgers fan?”

Sansevere would have been less offended if I had accused him of being a teenage shoplifter. “Nobody grew up a Rutgers fan,” he said. “We lived an hour, 15 minutes from the school, and I never met a Rutgers fan.”

Chip Scoggins was covering the Gophers for the Star Tribune last Saturday. He took an Uber from a Newark airport hotel to Rutgers, 15 minutes away. On arrival, the driver asked: “What campus is this?”

Andy Greder from the Pioneer Press was staying in Rahway, N.J., 18 miles from Rutgers. He was in a sports bar on Friday and asked to watch the Penn State-Michigan game.

Response: “We don’t have the Big Ten Network.”

Commissioner Jim Delany recruited Maryland and Rutgers to give the Big Ten an East Coast presence for future cable and satellite negotiations. They were lured in 2012 and started competing in 2014.

Maryland brought a tolerable résumé. Rutgers seemed silly then, and is a farce now.

The Knights have a 17-game conference losing streak and are 7-41 in 4½ football seasons. They are 16-76 in five men’s basketball seasons. The topper: They are 1-88 with an 80-match losing streak in volleyball, and 23 sets won in 4½ seasons.

The Rutgers media staff does deserve a medal for this spin on another 0-20 for coach C.J. Warneke: “The 2018 season saw the Knights reach new heights with most sets won in Big Ten matches …’’

The Knights won a home game Saturday: 44-34 over Liberty. Rutgers paid a $1 million guarantee to Liberty. Looking at tweeted photos, that was $250 per spectator (or more).

Rutgers — aka, Delany’s Folly.

PLUS THREE

Great two weeks for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

10-12-19: ESPN reports longtime Angels communications director Eric Kay was fellow drug user and supplier for Tyler Skaggs, the pitcher who died from an overdose.

10-21-19: Sports Illustrated reports Astros assistant GM Brian Taubman shouted toward three women reporters about his delight the team signed reliever Roberto Osuna (during a suspension for a domestic violence allegation). Taubman fired.

10-23-19: Umpire Rob Drake predicts on Twitter a Civil War if “MY PRESIDENT’’ is impeached and suggests he’s getting an assault rifle to be ready. Also spells it “Cival.’’

 

Write to Patrick Reusse by e-mailing sports@startribune.com and including his name in the subject line.

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