When you ask people, what’s your favorite sports movie? Rudy will is a pretty common answer. The film about an undersized football player whose determination helps him make the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. A classic in most people’s eyes.
Well those hearts may now be broken with news that the real Rudy, Daniel Ruettiger was charged last week with being part of a classic pump-and-dump scheme in which he and others deceived investors into buying stock in Rudy Nutrition, RUNU, a sports drink company.
Ruettiger, 63, was CEO of RUNU and is named in the complaint filed by the SEC.
Allegedly, the company produced and sold “modest amounts” of the sports drink “Rudy,” that had the tagline, “Dream Big! Never Quit!”
Ironically, the same line was used in the movie, however, such inspiration has left a sour taste in the SEC’s mouth.
The SEC alleges that during the time from February to September 2008, Rudy Nutrition gave investors false information, like a email bragging, “in a major southwest test, Rudy outsold Gatorade 2 to 1!” according to ABC News. It is also speculated that the company manipulated trading by artificially inflating the price of the stock while selling unregistered shares to investors. In this time, the company grossed over $11 million. The SEC alleges that the group “sold almost one billion shares to unsuspecting investors in the public market during the scheme.”
When Ruettiger was a kid, he dreamed he could play for the Notre Dame football team. He may have lacked the speed, size and ability, as well as the grades to get into either the school or on the team, but he went to Junior College, got a job at Notre Dame and in time was allowed to practice with the team. His final home game of his senior year, Rudy was allowed to suit up because starters on the team plead to the coach to let Rudy play.
Such devotion and loyalty is what I take as the message of the film. I just wonder where down the line that same devotion and loyalty went for Rudy’s investors. It’s a sad day in the sporting world when Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger is corrupt.