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'Sopranos' star pitches Rutgers football team

Published: Wednesday, April 25 2001 7:38 a.m. MDT

Rutgers' struggling football program is getting a little help from a friend with connections — alumnus James Gandolfini.

Gandolfini, who plays New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano on the HBO show "The Sopranos," returned to the school with some old college buddies and coach Greg Schiano to film a commercial touting the football team.

In the ad, a fan comes up to the table of five men and gushes, "This season is gonna be great! Everybody's talking about it! It's a program the whole family can get behind."

The fan asks for an autograph. But as Gandolfini puts his hand forward, the stranger gives the pen and paper to Schiano.

"I can't take you anywhere," Gandolfini tells Schiano before the scene fades to a toll-free telephone number to buy Rutgers tickets.

Schiano, an assistant at Miami last season, will coach a Rutgers team that went 3-8 last season, including 0-7 in the Big East.

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