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Paralyzed Athlete: Rutgers Withdrew Commencement Speech Offer

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ERIC LEGRAND
Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand looks up at the stands during ceremony where his jersey number 52 was retired at halftime of an NCAA college football game against Eastern Michigan in Piscataway,N.J., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. LeGrand became paralyzed while making a tackle in an October 2010 game. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand says the university offered him the chance to give this month's commencement, then reversed course.

LeGrand made the statement on Twitter on Monday hours after the university announced former Gov. Tom Kean would be the speaker. He says the university pulled the invitation "for political reasons."

LeGrand was paralyzed during a 2010 football game and his recovery has become a rallying point for the university. He is graduating from the university this month.

Rutgers spokesman Greg Trevor said Tuesday that he would look into LeGrand's claims.

The university had to scramble to find a new speaker for the May 18 ceremony after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew on Saturday. Some students and faculty had protested her selection.

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