Rutgers won the day yesterday on the Internet when photos leaked across the web of the Scarlet Knights' special Hurricane Sandy uniforms to be worn during the April 27 Scarlet-White game. The Scarlet Knights will auction off the New Jersey-emblazoned helmets and jerseys marked with the names of 90 towns affected by the costliest hurricane in American history. The funds raised by this idea are expected to push Rutgers' hurricane relief contributions to north of $150,000 since Sandy struck in October.
The school held its pre-spring press conference on Tuesday morning, and both Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti and head coach Kyle Flood praised the two men who did the heavy lifting in getting the idea off the ground. This idea, they explained, didn't come from Nike or even the Rutgers athletics front office, but from inside the football building, namely, from director of football operations Will Gilkinson and director of player services Mike Kuzniak.
"Really the two people who deserve most of the credit are Will Gilkinson for sure, who grew up in an area directly affected by Hurricane Sandy and who certainly has a lot of friends and family who live down there in those areas, as well as Mike Kuzniak," said Flood. "They have worked quite a bit and we have looked at a couple different versions of things we could do to hopefully create something that would create fundraising value."
Flood then spoke passionately about his program's desire to give back to an area that so richly deserves it.
"It gives us an opportunity to not only have a great event for our spring game and a great showcase for our football program, but also have the opportunity to give back," Flood said. "I think we're so fortunate to be able to compete, work, play at this level, at this great university, but now we also have an opportunity to give back to a lot of people in our home state here who are certainly still in need of help. We're excited to do that."