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When it comes to college football, loyalty isn't something that can be divided easily, it seems.

Take Marc Rosen, who spent his undergraduate years at Penn State University and is starting his second year as a full-time MBA student at Rutgers Business School this month.

When Rutgers takes on Penn State in its first Big Ten home game on Sept. 13, Rosen's proud ties to Rutgers will be buried beneath the white #40 Nittany Lions jersey he has worn every autumn Saturday since 2007.

"I have always been a fan of Rutgers football, but my fandom is not capable of being divided when Penn State is on the field," Rosen said. "I bleed blue and white."

Where is the cheerleading, sword-toting Scarlet Knight mascot when you need him?


As Rutgers Business School gets swept up in the Big Ten fervor swirling across the university's campuses, it's evident that admittance to another school doesn't mean conversion to another team, loyalty doesn't dissipate with a change of geography and allegiances can't be compromised even for an evening.

Frank Reyes, a Flex MBA student at Rutgers Business School, grew up in Garfield. During high school, he cheered for Rutgers and then he started college at Penn State, where football he said is "almost" like a religion.

"If you look out a window on the day when the football team is playing at home, you see people marching to the game," Reyes said. "After being there for four years, I grew to like Penn State football."

"Like" might be putting it mildly, but Reyes does admit to being a slightly torn about where to sit at the Sept. 13 game on the Scarlet Knight's home turf.

"I thought about sitting on the Rutgers side," he said, "but if Penn State scores, I'd have to cheer." In the sea of red, he knew that wasn't likely to go over well.

"You know, it's tough," Reyes said, sounding as if he was truly trying to reconcile his respect for two teams that will now be rivals. "I'm going to be rooting for Penn State, but I want Rutgers to do well."

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Sept. 26: Join us in Philadelphia for a reception at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs conference, 5:30-7 p.m. All university alumni invited.

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