Robert C. Robbins is many things: Heart surgeon, scholar, University of Arizona president.
And, apparently, Clone.
Robbins called into the nationally syndicated "The Jim Rome Show" on Tuesday to pitch the host's son on attending the University of Arizona. While doing so, Robbins — a die-hard sports fan — revealed that he's a longtime listener of the show, name-dropping Rome's announcer and producer. For decades, Rome has referred to his fans and callers as Clones, part of a lexicon — the show is "The Jungle," opinions are "takes" — that give the show its charm.
Tuesday's exchange began when Rome began talking about his son Jake, who is a taking his college visits and hopes to major in journalism. While Rome talked, Robbins called the show's listener line. Robbins told Rome that he was driving to Phoenix from Tucson and listening to the show, as he always does, when he decided to call in. (Robbins' pitch came after Rome said his son had already been admitted to Missouri and, gulp, Arizona State.)
"We've got Pulitzer Prize winners on our faculty, the Daily Wildcat is the student-run newspaper," he said. "We are all-out student-focused. … We would love to have Jake be a Wildcat."
Robbins said that Rome's producers and support-staff could check the rankings and reputation of the journalism school. He then went on to deliver a recruiting pitch that might sound familiar to other out-of-state Wildcats: That Tucson is close enough to Southern California to drive to, that the school has a great tradition and solid academics, and — of course — that the sports teams are stellar.
The UA's journalism school's official Facebook page posted Wednesday that Robbins "has our back."