Patrick Hobbs discusses state of Rutgers athletics at RUSA meeting
Pat Hobbs, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, spoke on the future of the Athletics Department and its teams at the Rutgers University Student Assembly's (RUSA) weekly meeting last night, as it voted on new legislation.
Hobbs said that when he arrived at Rutgers two years ago, the state of the athletics program was in disarray, and many teams found themselves on hard times.
Working to reinvigorate every aspect of the department, Hobbs said he wants to instill pride in the University’s athletics. He is focused on making sure that Rutgers accepts talented, driven and respectable new athletes into its programs and creates an image of athletics that students, athletes and alumni can be proud of.
The recent successes of Steve Pikiell, men's head basketball coach, and C. Vivian Stringer, women's head basketball coach, show that these programs are in a better place than they were in recent years, he said.
“I believe athletics can have a very important role in a university. For those with an athletic talent, it is an avenue, for some it is the only way they'll be able to attend a university through a scholarship and with that they can go on to great success,” he said.
Athletics are a big part of the University’s image and play an important role in how much money it receives from its alumni, Hobbs said. In his experience, when a college’s sports teams do well, the program sees an increase in applications and contributions — benefiting both current and future students.
Hobbs spoke about the Big Ten and Rutgers’ transition into its collective. He said the University is moving towards full membership by 2021, and he hopes to have every athletic program in peak performance, furthering the reputation of Rutgers Athletics.
“There are many benefits in the Big Ten,” Hobbs said. “I don’t know that we celebrate those benefits as much as we should. The Big Ten is the premier academic conference. Our membership was an immediate recognition of the strength of our academic programs.”
Hobbs has been with Rutgers since Nov. 30, 2015 and has made notable changes to the University's sports programs. These changes include bringing on Chris Ash to coach the football team and bringing on a full-time nutrition staff.
He has also overseen the beginning of the University’s new relationship with Adidas, according to the Rutgers Athletics' website.
“I'm excited about what we’ve accomplished in two years," Hobbs said. "I'm even more excited about what we’re going to accomplish at Rutgers going forward.”
After he finished his town hall, the Assembly moved forward to vote on two pieces of legislation and heard reports on RUSA affairs from its officers.
RUSA put forward a bill to elect a representative to its Allocation Selection Board.
RUSA Allocations contribute more than $1 million to different organizations on campus each academic year, according to The Daily Targum. The Selection Board oversees how that money is disseminated.
The Assembly voted in favor of electing the current Treasurer Shannon Chang, a Rutgers Business School senior, 52 to 4.
The Assembly also voted to further define and clarify the definition of its workshops as legitimized training sessions, which are mandatory and in the organization’s Standing Rules. The bill passed 30 to 26.