Category Archives: Eric LeGrand

ESPN will honor Eric LeGrand at ESPYs

A few times a year I end up linking to the awesome speech Jim Valvano gave at the ESPYs back in 1993.

I want to take a quick moment to do it yet again since ESPN announced today that Eric LeGrand will be the recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance award this year. LeGrand is certainly a well deserved recipient. If you don’t do it already you should follow him on twitter and go buy his book.

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A year later Eric LeGrand continues to inspire

I haven’t had the chance to post much lately but wanted to take a couple of minutes for this one.

Over the course of the past year I have had a few posts about Eric LeGrand and on the one year anniversary of his injury I wanted to remind everyone about donating to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund“.

He told his story to Sports Illustrated this week. You can go read it here. It is hard not to be inspired. Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger also had a really well written story on LeGrand this week.

Make sure you follow him on twitter as well. He tweets pretty regularly.
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Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” clothing line to benefit paralyzed player | ProFootballTalk

Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” clothing line to benefit paralyzed player | ProFootballTalk

Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” interview with ESPN spread like wildfire on YouTube earlier this year. The Jets star later applied for a trademark on the phrase. Now he is putting that phrase to good use.

Bart Scott has announced a clothing line, proceeds from which will benefit Eric LeGrand of Rutgers. The Jets take a lot of unnecessary criticism from people around the NFL so it is definitely nice to see one of their guys get recognition for some good work.  If you aren’t familiar with LeGrand, he was paralyzed last year in a game against Army. Rutgers launched the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” in order to help the family with the medical bills.

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Eric LeGrand ESPN Interview

This morning ESPN aired an interview that Tom Rinaldi conducted with Rutgers Defensive Tackle Eric LeGrand. Tom Rinaldi does a great job with pieces like this and the LeGrand interview is no different. I haven’t seen the TV version yet so I don’t know if this is the whole thing but here is a clip ESPN has posted online.

He injured his vertebrae earlier this season in a game against Army. Since then the Rutgers and sports communities have come together to help raise money for him and his money as they face years of medical bills.


On October 22nd Rutgers sent out a press release announcing the creation of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund.”

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 22, 2010) – Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti announced today the establishment of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand (Avenel, N.J.) and his family. LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle for the Scarlet Knights, suffered a spinal cord injury Oct. 16 vs. Army. 

Contributions to the fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:

“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”

PNC Wealth Management

Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor

One Palmer Square Suite 201

Princeton, NJ 08542

All proceeds of the fund will go directly to the LeGrand family. For more information, visit www.ScarletKnights.com/Believe.

Prior to the Rutgers/Pitt game this season there was a “Moment of Cheer” at Heinz Field.





There is a tribute song recorded by a singer from New Jersey. Proceeds from the sales of the song are going to Eric LeGrand. You can buy the song in MP3 format by clicking here.





Rutgers Football has a TV show that airs on SNY and inside the stadium. They did this story on LeGrand earlier this season.





The family has already received financial assistance from the $75,000 from Devin Harris and the New Jersey Nets, $20,000 from Tracy McGradyT-shirt sales from Scarlet Fever, a store near campus, raised $90,000. Wristband sales on campus, a student-organized effort, raised another $65,000. Those figures are from a local newspaper article (the article also mentions smaller donations from schools in the area) that also quotes the owner of the store. 

When the line formed on the sidewalk outside the store, when the internet orders alone topped 2,000, he knew he had to print more — and fast. Ostergren wrote a check to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund for about $89,500 recently.

“We’re still selling shirts,” he said, “and we’ll keep selling shirts as long as people want them.”

Erica Bowden, a junior from South Plainfield, decided to sell wristbands with the message “Eric LeGrand #52 Believe.” She thought it was a risk to order 200. The current tally, her father, Bill, said, was close to 19,000.

You can buy the LeGrand shirts here. 


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ESPN will air interview with Eric LeGrand

Back in October I posted a couple of entries on Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand. If you are not familiar with the story he received a spinal cord injury in a game against Army earlier this season. Doctors at the time didn’t think he’d regain movement below the neck. Turns out he is making a lot of progress. Tomorrow morning starting in the 9 AM hour SportsCenter will be airing an interview with him that Tom Rinaldi did. 

Rutgers Athletics Department sent out the following Press Release earlier today. 

Eric LeGrand

ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi conducted the first interview with Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand since he was paralyzed in a collision during a game against Army on Oct. 16. In the interview, scheduled to debut on ESPN on Friday, Jan. 7 during the 9 a.m. edition of SportsCenter, LeGrand told Rinaldi that he has full sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders. Rinaldi spoke to LeGrand at the Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., where he is in rehabilitation.
In the feature, LeGrand said while lying on the field at the New Meadowlands, he had “the fear of death” and that he “could pass out and die here.” He added he couldn’t do “a thumbs up” motion while on the stretcher when he was removed from the field because it felt like “1,000 pounds was on this thumb” when he tried to move it.
Doctors initially believed that he would not regain any feeling or movement below the neck, but LeGrand has exceeded their expectations. His paralysis has been diagnosed as incomplete and he has been able to breathe on his own without the use of a ventilator since late November.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said about LeGrand, “He believes that he’s going to be up and moving again. There’s no doubt in his mind.”
The feature will be available to view on ScarletKnights.com after its initial airing on SportsCenter.
For information on Eric LeGrand and the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund, please visit ScarletKnights.com/Believe.

ESPN New York has a story up on this already.



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State of Rutgers Football

As a very disappointing season comes to a close I just want to take a moment to think about where the Rutgers Football program stands at the moment.

There is no way around it. The program did take a step back this year but it is not the end of the world. The last 2 home games there was a lot of talk at the stadium about the need to fire Head Coach Greg Schiano but I couldn’t agree less with that sentiment. The recruiting classes are consistently getting better. The players at the skill positions are not the problem. Hopefully the problems with the offensive line are fixed next year. Next to injuries it was the biggest issue that plagued the team with the departure of a solid line from last year that also included the first round pick for the San Franciso 49ers, Anthony Davis.

The fan base is part of the problem right now too. This team hasn’t had a home field advantage (except for Thursday night games). There are just too many people coming to the games who hopped on the bandwagon in 2006 and just haven’t gotten off of it yet. There are way too many people coming to the games who just aren’t real fans. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times in the last few years that the crowd has left early despite what the final score ends up being. The West Virginia game last year really annoyed me. The team went down 21-3 early and half the crowd early to watch the Yankees/Angels playoff game. The game ended up going down to the wire but less than half the crowd was there to watch the finish.

As crazy as it sounds there are just too many people at these games who have no idea how to react to game situations. It drives me crazy when Rutgers is facing a key 3rd down play on the offense and a certain portion of the crowd just starts getting loud as the offense gets to the line and tries to listen to signals from the quarterback yet the same people are completely quiet when the team faces a big 3rd down play while on defense.

Schiano spoke to the media today about his message to the fan base,

Well, certainly I feel their frustration because there’s no one on the planet that’s more frustrated than I am. So can I feel their frustration? 50 times over. Because they’re frustrated, but then they go do a job or they go back to their family or they do something; my frustration doesn’t end. So yes, I feel their frustration. Sure, I do.

I can tell you this, though: I’m betting that the Rutgers people — the real Rutgers fans — are going to stick with this football team and this coaching staff because we’re going to get this fixed. This isn’t the end of the world. It’s disappointing, it’s sad that it had to happen. But this program is built, as I said in the beginning, on a rock-solid foundation. This storm won’t knock us off that foundation. And we’ll come back stronger.

So that’s what I say to our fans — we’ll be back. Our true fans will stick with us. The bandwagon fans will be there when we win again. And that’s life. I don’t have any ill feelings towards that. I’m in a profession that’s a very competitive profession. It’s entertainment. And when it doesn’t go well, people aren’t entertained. I understand that.

We’re in a big-time market. It’s great when you’re doing well and it’s tough when you’re not. I don’t wish that away. I enjoy that

It is a sad reality that is not just a problem at Rutgers but around the sporting world. As ticket prices go up, the real fan is getting priced out of the stadiums and arenas around the country. There are too many people at sporting events who are only there because they got tickets through work because the company they work for is a sponsor  or just happens to have seats. These people couldn’t care less about the game.

I don’t understand the people who continue to criticize the stadium expansion that happened before the 2009 story. Every blog post, tweet and conversation mentions that Rutgers didn’t sell out any games this year but I haven’t yet seen one mention that for all but one (an 11 AM kickoff on a Friday) game this year the team sold more tickets then the old capacity. Same was true last year. The expansion was needed because of the amount of people that were on the waiting list. Stadium will fill up again and do so very soon. The same people who are complaining now would have complained had the team expanded in phases instead of just adding the 10,000 seats in one spring.

There is a good read today from Dave D’Alessandro saying that the Rutgers season ended when Eric LeGrand got hurt. It is hard to argue against that. Yes, the team had some major weaknesses that were exposed early but the fact that they haven’t been even a half way decent team down the stretch definitely has something to do with LeGrand going down. That is one of the big reasons why I haven’t been as hard on this team as I probably would have been with the Bowl streak coming to an end. These are just kids. Just out of High School and they were on the field as one of their own got paralyzed and has been fighting an uphill battle ever since. By the way, please consider donating to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund“. For every one Reggie Bush (or Cam Newton if this story goes the way it looks like it will) there are thousands of college athletes who go out there and risk their health because they love the game. The medical bills will be very high and it has been good to see the sports community do their part.
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Eric LeGrand Believe Fund

I already put up a post about Eric LeGrand a couple of days ago but just want to share this with everyone. Rutgers University has set up the “Eric LeGrand Belive Fund” to help support the family of Eric LeGrand. This is taken directly from their website,

The Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the establishment of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand and his family. LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle for the Scarlet Knights, suffered a spinal cord injury Oct. 16 vs. Army. 

Contributions to the fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:

“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”

PNC Wealth Management

Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor

One Palmer Square Suite 201

Princeton, NJ 08542

 I have seen a Facebook event named “Wristbands for LeGrand” but have no way of knowing if that money is actually getting to the LeGrand family. If you want to help do it directly through this fund just to be on the safe side. Please pass this information to others.

Rutgers has also put up this video.

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Eric LeGrand – Rutgers Football

If you follow me on twitter you’ve heard me mention that I have not yet watched a game of Rutgers Football this season due to a bunch of different reasons. I’ve been keeping an eye out on the program as always though.

By now most sports fans have already seen the clip of it but Junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury in the game against Army this past Saturday at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The hit paralyzed him from the neck down. LeGrand, who’s a local kid grew up just a short drive away in Avenel, NJ.

The video of the hit is up on YouTube. It’s the risk you take in a sport like football. We’ve all seen hits that looked far worse but somehow not cause any injury, unfortunately this one wasn’t one of those.

Head Coach Greg Schiano did speak to the media today.




“Here’s the situation: This is going to be a long, long hard road back and there’s going to be speculation and a lot of friends and people who care,” 
“I think it’s important that we stay away from those kinds of things,” Schiano said. “I think there’s so much out there and a lot of it is misguided. Right now, when it’s appropriate, we will make an announcement if there’s any kind of change in his condition. But it’s not going to be a day-to-day thing.”

He appeared on ESPN’s College Football Live and WFAN with Mike Francesa.

Rutgers Athletics released the following Press Release earlier today:

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 17, 2010) – Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (Avenel, N.J.) suffered a spinal cord injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Army. The injury was at the C3-C4 level and emergency surgery was performed by doctors throughout the night at Hackensack University Medical Center to stabilize the spine. 

“We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes,” the LeGrand family said. “We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery.”

Eric is resting in the intensive care unit at Hackensack University Medical Center and will remain there for the near future. Currently, he has no movement below the neck.

“Eric, his family and the Rutgers Football family believe he will recover,” said Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano. “We ask our fans and the entire Rutgers community to believe and pray for Eric as he begins the recovery process.” SEND ERIC YOUR GET WELL WISHES

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