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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kyle Flood, Rutgers keep annual Special Olympics tradition alive

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

EWING — Nearly a month until Rutgers' entry to the Big Ten, Kyle Flood was being escorted all around The College of New Jersey.

At 6:20 p.m. on Friday, he is shaking hands at the 50-yard line of TCNJ's football field. Some video filming follows. Then it's off to a reception tent to offer a speech before delivering another one at 7:30.

The third-year head coach, prompted by the school's 'R' Big Tour, has flocked across the state within the last month promoting the program's new Big Ten brand.

Friday night, the opening ceremonies of Special Olympics New Jersey, offered a reprieve.

 "When I became the head coach and Marc Edenzon, who's the president of Special Olympics New Jersey, came to me, it was never about what he could do for me," Flood said. "It was never about what I could do for him. It was always about what we could do together for the athletes. That's always the first thing."

Nineteen Rutgers players joined Flood. They handed out brochures, met with athletes and posed for pictures.

They are nearly two months removed from arguably the most important training camp in the team's recent history. None showed as much on TCNJ's turf field, where they appeared the less celebrated athletes.

"College football players I think are very privileged," defensive end David Milewski said. "I think it's sort of an obligation to give back to the community, because realistically there's not much difference between me or anybody else that goes to school at Rutgers."

"New Jersey's the home state," defensive tackle Darius Hamilton said, "so anything great that happens down here is always good."

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