The Alley, a student tailgate sponsored by Rutgers Athletics for all seven home football games in the 2016 season, is being shut down permanently after the first two games due to “safety concerns,” an anonymous source familiar with the situation told The Daily Targum.
Regrettably, due to safety concerns, The Alley is no longer available
for student tailgating.
— Rutgers Athletics (@RUAthletics) September 20, 2016
The decision was not made by Rutgers Athletics, according to the source.
"I feel the world for the athletics department right now," the source told the Targum. "They busted their backs to give us something that's ours and something to be proud of. We finally have an athletic program ready and willing to give us the (Big Ten) environment we've been yearning for three years now. But it's just another frustrating instance of the University refusing to work with us."
The Rutgers University Student Assembly declined to comment on the matter.
Located in the gravel parking lot across from the Werblin Recreation Center on Busch campus, The Alley was open to all Rutgers students but only offered parking spots to 25 student organizations per gameday.
“The Alley will be a fun, exciting place where students can get together on gameday,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs in a statement announcing The Alley on Aug. 31. “There was a need to address the tailgating options for our students and we are excited to provide them with this opportunity.”
Hobbs gained attention on social media over the weekend when a video surfaced of him sipping what appeared to be a beer given to him by a student at the lot while he gave a speech prior to the Rutgers football team’s game against New Mexico.
Hobbs told NJ Advanced Media's Keith Sargeant that picking up the beer was a "mistake" and he did it as he "was trying to restore order to what was turning out to be an unruly atmosphere."
“My first concern is always the safety and well-being of our students. Anyone who was at The Alley on Saturday knows that I was acting to ensure that," Hobbs said in a statement issued Tuesday. "I regret that any action on my part could be interpreted as promoting the use of alcohol. That was certainly not my intention.”
A change.org petition calling for a boycott of Rutgers football games until the Alley is reopened was started shortly after the official announcement came from Rutgers Athletics.
It had 1,825 supporters less than 24 hours after it was started.
This is a developing story. Follow @Daily_Targum on Twitter and dailytargum.com for updates.