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Rutgers Closes Student Tailgate Area After AD Has Beer

“No, I can’t drink that right now!” Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs yelled to a crowd of students Saturday at a special tailgate area the university sponsored.

Seconds later, with a microphone in one hand and a can of beer in the other, Hobbs told the cheering students, “I am of age! If they card me, I’m OK! Go RU!” Hobbs then appears to take a sip.

The exchange, caught on video, likely is the reason why Rutgers announced Tuesday that it is closing the student tailgate area called “The Alley” where Rutgers students gathered this season before home football games.

“Regrettably, due to safety concerns, The Alley is no longer available for student tailgating,” Rutgers Athletics announced in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.

Hobbs apologized for his actions, saying he was trying to restore order to what was becoming an unruly atmosphere. Rutgers police had just issued two citations apiece to a total of four people just as Hobbs arrived at the tailgate, NJ Advance Media reported

“My first concern is always for the safety and well-being of our students,'' Hobbs told the news outlet. “Anyone who was at the (student tailgate) Saturday knows that I was acting to ensure that.

“I regret that any action on my part can be interpreted as promoting the use of alcohol,'' Hobbs added. “That was certainly not my intention.”

After word spread through social media the past two weeks, The Alley attracted 2,500 to 3,000 students on Saturday, up from 500 to 800 students the previous week, school officials told NJ Advance Media. The Alley was open to all Rutgers students, but only student organizations were allowed to receive one of 25 permits to reserve a spot in the lot, about four football fields away from High Point Solutions Stadium.

Related: Rutgers AD Back in Headlines with Headline Comment

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