Rutgers AD sorry for beer incident, but tailgate party shelved afterward

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs has apologized after video of him drinking a beer at Rutgers' school-sponsored tailgate party has surfaced. But in the wake of the incident, which was caught on camera, the event has been shut down.

In August, the school opted to open the student tailgating event, "The Alley." On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights hosted New Mexico and the tailgate was in full swing at its home close to the stadium. Hobbs told NJ Advance Media that he arrived as Rutgers police were issuing tickets. Hobbs said he felt the event was out of control, so he climbed a riser and began addressing the crowd, praising Rutgers police while asking people to cheer on the police.

"My first concern is always for the safety and well-being of our students,'' Hobbs told NJ Advance Media. "Anyone who was at the [student tailgate] Saturday knows that I was acting to ensure that.''

A video released by New Brunswick Today shows Hobbs being handed a beer from someone in the crowd around that time. Hobbs said, "No, I can't drink that right now." The crowd started chanting for Hobbs to drink, and he laughed, saying, "I am of age. If they card me, I'm OK. All right, go RU." The video ends as Hobbs appears to be drinking.

Hobbs told NJ Advance Media that picking up the beer was "a mistake.''

Rutgers Athletics' Twitter account tweeted on Tuesday, "Regrettably, due to safety concerns, The Alley is no longer available for student tailgating."

Rutgers University Police chief Kenneth Cop told NJ Advance Media that the tailgate was relatively calm on Saturday. Two citations per person were given to four people before the noon ET kickoff. It is not clear now if the tailgate will reopen.

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