September 16, 2014 • Football

Rutgers A.D. apologizes for fan behavior

Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann issued a statement Monday apologizing for fan behavior at Saturday’s game against Penn State.

A number of fans wore T-shirts that read “Beat Ped State,” while another displayed an offensive banner in the parking lot prior to the game. The classless acts were in reference to the Jerry Sandusky case.

Athletic directors are no strangers to dealing with fan behavior issues, but what made this matter worse is the fans were photographed and posted on the official Rutgers football Facebook page. The university should not be promoting this type of behavior, but it’s likely that someone in the department uploaded dozens of photos without taking a close look at what was in them. The pictures were later removed, but not before facing criticism from commenters.

Here is Hermann’s statement:

On behalf of Rutgers University and the Athletic Department, we would like to apologize for the regrettable actions of a handful of Rutgers fans on Saturday that do not convey the message of good, competitive spirit that we look forward to having with our new Big Ten rival Penn State University.

Some of the signage and t-shirts that we have been made aware of were both inappropriate and offensive.

I have spoken with and apologized to the Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour and I would like to apologize equally to the Penn State University fans, as well as Rutgers fans that were subjected to this classless display that does not represent the ethos of our university, athletic department or fan base.

The two inappropriate pictures that appeared briefly on our Facebook page as part of a 200-picture montage were immediately removed when we were alerted to their content.

It is unfortunate that the actions of a few spoiled an otherwise historic and recording-setting night that Rutgers fans provided for our first Big Ten football game.

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