As expected, Rutgers is in full-blown spin mode.
This morning, former Scarlet Knight football player Eric LeGrand confirmed to a local paper that he had been asked Saturday to be the keynote speaker at RU’s graduation later this month only to have the offer inexplicably rescinded two days later. The paralyzed former player was upset over the decision, with the situation marking yet another public embarrassment and black eye for the university.
With a public backlash that was both swift and strong, the school has backpedaled with the deftness of an All-American cornerback. In a statement, RU president Robert Barchi said the situation was the result of a miscommunication [/wanking motion] and that LeGrand will indeed be one of the speakers at the commencement ceremony May 18.
spin move statement, in its entirety:
“Eric LeGrand will speak at our Commencement and personally receive his degree from me as a representative of the Class of 2014.
“It was never our intention that Eric would be the only speaker. We have resolved that miscommunication and are delighted to have him participate.
“Eric holds a special place in the hearts of the Class of 2014 and the entire university community. We are thrilled that he will be joining us on stage to make this special occasion even more memorable.”
On Twitter, the magnanimous LeGrand wanted the focus shifted from the controversy — and the administrator’s ineptitude — to those who will be receiving their diplomas.
After speaking with Pres. Barchi I will join Gov. Kean speaking at @RutgersU graduating class of 2014. Lets keep the focus on the graduates
— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) May 6, 2014
Well, at least one side of this situation has kept it classy throughout.