American sports activists have a proud and respected history, with Rutgers’ athletic programs standing out among the brightest. One of the first universities in the country to bring their sports program into the interconnected arena, they started a tradition that will remain as strong as ever more than a hundred years later.
American sports activist has a proud and respected history, with Rutgers’ athletic program standing out among its brightest. One of the first universities in the country to bring their sporting program into a congregational arena, they waged field and court battles with Yale, Columbia, and of course Princeton in its early (as well as long into the future) years. These four schools devised competition rules in 1873 and started a tradition that would remain as strong as ever for the next hundred years.
Football was the name of the game for these top-four intercollegiate giants in their early days, and it remains one of the main focal points of Rutgers’ athletics many years later. Of course, football is far from the only sport that schools focus on. Its history includes baseball, basketball, soccer and many more. Incredibly, many of the school’s sports ventures remained unaffiliated with any official conferences for most of its history. From a brief period in the 1940’s, this school belonged to the Central Three Conference and they enjoyed brief stints in the Middle Atlantic Conference in the late 1950’s. In 1976, the school joined the Atlantic 10 Conference and remained there until 1995. Since then, the university has been affiliated with the Big East.
A cursory glance at Rutgers’ athletic program will reveal the strong spirit of the school, embodied in red. The Scarlet Knights, as it is known, appeared when their school mascot beat other competitors such as “Scarlet” and “Flying Dutchmen”. For a long time before that change, the school was known as Chanticleer, although its association with chickens caused a lot of ridicule on the sports page. With a knight at the forefront of the program, the potential for ridicule is eliminated and the mascot reflects the integrity and tenacity of the school on the ground.
Birth of Pro Football
Of course, while the national focus is naturally on Rutgers athletics and their intercollegiate activities, the school also plays host to small-scale sports for those who lack the interest or ability to engage at a very competitive level. Sports clubs abound on the two campuses and, although the level of competition among participating schools may not reach the fever pitch seen in 1 Scarlet Knights Way, don’t say that to those who take the field regularly to prove their skills in the arena of their choice. Intramural sports also stand out on campus, giving anyone and everyone the opportunity to compete against fellow students.