Rutgers Rights Its Own Wrong: LeGrand Will Speak at Graduation
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Rutgers University finally did the right thing.
The administration did a 180 and will now have paralyzed Scarlet Knight lineman Eric LeGrand as its commencement speaker this year, after all.
University President Robert Barchi tried to save some face by calling it a "miscommunication." Sure. Initially informing LeGrand that 'you will not be a speaker' is a miscommunication, all right.
This all began when former Secretary of State Condi Rice rescinded her acceptance of an invitation to speak at this year's graduation because of a student body and professor revolt.
That was their first faux pas, but it was followed by the bigger blunder of Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann rescinding LeGrand's invitation to speak at commencement, too.
LeGrand, as you may recall, became paralyzed while playing football for the Scarlet Knights.
He'll have a powerful message about going forward in life that will definitely be well-received by the graduates.
LeGrand literally gave everything for his school.
Rutgers has been on thin PR ice since their former basketball coach physically and emotionally abused his players. Remember this?
It took a while, but they finally canned him.
Then they stepped in it when they initially told LeGrand that he was out as a speaker.
"I just want an explanation," LeGrand earlier told NJ.com in a phone interview. "I wish somebody would have given me a call tonight and explained to me why. Then I can understand, but don't just leave me hanging."
His story of triumph is a hell of a lot more compelling than anything Condi Rice or former Governor Thomas Kean could give.
And Rutgers finally recognizes that.