Rutgers plans special spring game feature

Rutgers has quite a special ending planned for its spring game in two weeks: 22 children impacted by Hurricane Sandy will get a chance to play in the final five minutes of the contest.

Their performance might very well impact the final score.

Rutgers is asking children in sixth through eighth grades impacted by the storm to submit a short essay or photos through the Rutgers football Facebook page. Those selected will spend the second half on the sideline with their respective team before hitting the field.

The school previously announced that players will wear special helmets with the R Strong logo, and their jerseys will feature 90 names of towns across New Jersey that were storm affected. The jerseys will be signed by coach Kyle Flood and given to each town later this spring and summer.

All fans in attendance will be given the option to make a $5 donation to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Rutgers athletics already has sold more than $61,000 worth of R Strong T-shirts since last fall, and raised $10,000 for the Jersey Shore chapter of the American Red Cross.

Rutgers should be applauded for this wonderful community outreach effort. Though the headlines over the past week have focused on the basketball debacle, Rutgers has been active since the storm hit last summer in trying to help those in need. Spotlighting these kids is a great gesture.