There is little doubt: the Rutgers athletic department has been a mess for the better half of the past year, damaging a great university's image nationally. There are important lessons to be learned from how this happened.
To the extent that Rutgers offers a lesson, it is about the need for institutional leadership to provide a higher level of attention to athletics programs, most especially those programs that are or have moved more intentionally to greater national prominence.
As former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice showed the most repellent on-court demeanor since Bobby Knight, outside observers have voiced their annoyance about the rise of dictatorial coaches. However, the fact remains the coach-as-bully is learned behavior and it starts early.
As long as schools place winning -- and the ticket sales winning generates -- above the welfare of the students, it seems unlikely we are going to see athletic directors and presidents alter their behavior.