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Rutgers Students Rally to Reopen School-Sponsored Tailgate

The university shut down the tailgate party after a video of the athletic director drinking a beer at the event was posted online

What to Know

  • Rutgers announced on Tuesday that it would shut down a school-sanctioned tailgate party.
  • Athletic Director Pat Hobbs was seen drinking a beer at Saturday's tailgate party in a video posted online.
  • Students created a petition with over 2,000 signatures to bring back the tailgate party.

Rutgers students are fighting for their right to party.

The university announced on Tuesday it would be shutting down a tailgate party sponsored by the athletics department due to safety concerns. The cancellation came after video was posted online that showed Athletic Director Pat Hobbs drinking a beer at Saturday's tailgate after being goaded by fans.

Despite the controversy, students argued that the event was safe because of university police presence, according to A petition calling for a boycott of Rutgers football games until the tailgate's restoration already has more than 2,000 signatures.

"Pat Hobbs got turned into a bad guy," one student told NBC 4. "People don't understand, all you see is him sipping a beer. He was up there calming us down, telling us to respect the police and now he's on the media drinking a beer. That's not what he was there for." 

Nicknamed "The Alley," the on-campus tailgate was created as an incentive to bump up attendance at Rutgers football games. reports school officials say social media spiked Saturday's tailgate attendance to 2,500 to 3,000 students from 500 to 800 students at the first event.

Hobbs issued an apology for his actions on Wedesday. He also said the university would work with student leadership on an alternate tailgate spot. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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