UPDATE (1:07 PM): Let Rutgers tell it, and this was merely a "miscommunication." LeGrand will speak at commencement. From Rutgers' official site:
Eric LeGrand will speak at our Commencement and personally receive his degree from [Rutgers President Robert Barchi] as a representative of the Class of 2014.
It was never our intention that Eric would be the only speaker. We have resolved that miscommunication and are delighted to have him participate.
Rutgers doesn't join the Big Ten officially until July 1st, and Jim Delany might have his lawyers checking the return policy on the Scarlet Knights this morning.
Rutgers, you see, had offered Eric LeGrand, a former football player who was paralyzed while playing for the university, a chance to speak at Rutgers' upcoming commencement. Naturally, the kid was elated.
Rutgers' athletic director Julie Hermann, however, called LeGrand on Monday to inform him Rutgers was going in a different direction. That direction is former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, who didn't even attend Rutgers.
Rutgers is claiming this was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing in that multiple offers were made. Rutgers, in its infinite wisdom, decided it was a young man who was crippled in the service of the university who should be the one to take the fall.
I'll let Adam Jacobi take it from here:
There are ways things are done in the Big Ten. We embarrass ourselves ON the football field, not OFF it.— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) May 6, 2014