Rutgers’ Bad Rep A Scarlet Letter For Big Ten

Arkansas v Rutgers

Tuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) As the Big Ten heads into a big summer, it has a big problem.

Because when the league announced in November 2012 that it was expanding eastward, the thought was that in addition to providing entrance into lucrative new media markets, the inclusion of Rutgers and Maryland into the conference would also give Penn State some more natural rivals.

And in the case of Rutgers, it most certainly has – in terms of bad publicity.

Almost since the moment that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany revealed that his conference would be growing to 14 schools, the Scarlet Knights have been leaving it with black eyes. So much so that Rutgers has managed to picked up the unwanted mantle of bad publicity that the Nittany Lions laid down after its messy housecleaning following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Last week, for example, Rutgers, doing New Jersey no favors as the state university, turned itself into an unfunny punch line for at least the sixth time in 14 months when the school either “miscommunicated” an invitation or a subsequent un-invitation – or both – to former football player-turned-inspirational figure Eric LeGrand to speak at graduation.

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