User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Paralyzed athlete will speak at Rutgers

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

Former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand, whose recovery from a paralyzing injury suffered during a game has become a unifying and inspirational story for the school, was announced Tuesday as one of its commencement speakers, a day after he said the offer to do so was rescinded ''for political reasons.''

Advertisement
The announcement from Rutgers President Robert Barchi, who said there was a ''miscommunication'' about the speeches, is the latest development in a strange saga surrounding the May 18 ceremony.

The New Jersey university initially announced that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would give the keynote address, and school officials maintained that she would not be ''disinvited'' as some students and faculty protested her selection, including holding a sit-in last week. They objected largely because of her role in deciding the U.S. would go to war in Iraq.

But on Saturday, Rice withdrew from the speech.

On Monday, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, who was one of the chairmen of the Sept. 11 Commission, was named as the new keynote speaker.

Hours after that announcement, LeGrand tweeted that he had been offered the chance to give the speech, but that the university rescinded the offer ''for political reasons.''

Rutgers spokesman Greg Trevor said when university officials spoke with LeGrand, they may have given the impression that he was to be the keynote speaker, when that was not the plan. LeGrand will speak before Kean at the ceremony.

LeGrand did not return a message from The Associated Press seeking further details.

Later in the day, though, he tweeted that he had spoken with Barchi and would be speaking at commencement. ''(Let's) keep the focus on the graduates,'' he wrote.

Before the resolution was announced, he told NJ.com that athletic director Julie Hermann told him on Monday that Rutgers had decided to go with another speaker. Trevor said he would look into that assertion.

In his statement Tuesday afternoon, Barchi said LeGrand had been invited as one of multiple speakers.

''It was never our intention that Eric would be the only speaker. We have resolved that miscommunication and are delighted to have him participate,'' Barchi said. ''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 ever more memorable.''

LeGrand also will receive a degree at the ceremony.

He was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle on a kickoff during a 2010 game against Army. He now is able to breathe on his own and stand upright with the help of a metal frame.

LeGrand is known mostly for his hopeful outlook. He has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, helped with Rutgers football broadcasts, become a motivational speaker and signed a symbolic contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they were coached by his former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. Last fall, LeGrand became the first football player to have his number retired by the university.

LeGrand told the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick that he was mapping out what he would say in a speech. ''I was just going to give inspirational words about how they should attack life,'' he said. ''All the things I've learned so far.''

---

Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Monday's Tip Sheet
Marshall: Tech Trends - Bowls
ASA: Big Ten Bowl Report - Part 2
News: 2014-15 Bowl Betting Results
Andersen adds to Oregon State staff
Bowden likes FSU's chances in playoff era
Ducks need to stop Winston without CB
Liberty Bowl: Strong links for WVU, A&M
Jones: OSU's mystery man at Sugar Bowl
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
11-2 L13, 64% +2,545 This Year
5 Straight Bowl Winners
6-1 L7 Bowl Selections
58%, +1,856 Record This Year
12-5 L17 Guarantees, +2,319 TY
10-2 L12, 15-4 Guarantees TY
36-18 Last 3 Bowl Seasons
14-5 Guarantees This Year
4-1 L5 Bowls, 10-5 L15 G-Plays
7-3 Last 10 Over/Under Plays
10-6 L16, +1,098 Totals TY
32-18, +1,232 Totals TY
4-1 L5 Picks, 11-5 Totals TY
10-6 L16 Over/Under Plays
20-12 L32 College Picks
4-1 Last 5 Bowl Picks
NCAAFB College Football Expert Sports Picks - Liberty Bowl - Texas AM Aggies vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 2545
Michael Black + 2319
Kevin Rogers + 1856
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Brian Edwards + 303
ASA + 300
Jimmy Boyd + 290
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 64 %
Michael Black 58 %
Kevin Rogers 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1050
Jimmy Boyd + 880
Michael Black + 455
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1232
Kyle Hunter + 1098
Jimmy Boyd + 827
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 2230
Kevin Rogers + 1065
Marc Lawrence + 425
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide