Raining Bad News on Rutgers: Mulcahy III’s Legacy

July 31, 2008

The terrible press continues to pour on Rutgers and its athletic director, Mulcahy III, he of the air of scumbag entitlement. From today’s clippings:

* “Show Us The Money.” The Asbury Park Press editorializes about the farce the Seatbelt Corzine-Elizabeth Ray Lesniak private fundraising has degenerated into. The best line in the piece: “How many ways are there to illustrate the word ‘debacle’? It looks like the Rutgers stadium project might have a lock on many of them.”

* “Corzine and ethics don’t mix.” An editorial in Gannett’s central Jersey papers, posted at MyCentralJersey.com. The best line in this editorial about the private fund raising debacle: “the governor has proven to be just like so many others, believing ethical restraints are for other people. He makes up the rules that apply to himself as he goes along.” Are you reading, Seatbelt Corzine?

No one remembers a time when so many newspapers across the state joined in editorializing with so much agreement. Rutgers does not need this reckless and wasteful stadium expansion, few want it, and what people do want is accountability and transparency in Rutgers affairs coupled with a push for more investment in academics. It really is time to give Mulcahy III that imitation Rolex in a midnight retirement ceremony in Piscataway. Kick him in the rear, and let’s get moving to repair the damage he has inflicted on Rutgers.

New anti-Mulcahy-McCormick groups keep forming too. Freshly up on the web is Rutgers Watch, with an indepth look at the old Jocksniffer Gamper and Slick McCormick’s flatulent wee special committee on athletics spending. Do you think they’ll sit on whoopie cushions at their meetings? Just to set the right, proper tone?


Schianogate on TV

July 31, 2008

The deepening scandal that is unraveling the Rutgers athletic department made the airwaves tonight — move the cursor to 8:27 and sit back for a couple minute piece on New Jersey Public Television. The state comptroller’s investigation, the special Rutgers committee, the “funny” movement of money from Nelligan into a Greedy Greg Schiano LLC all figure into the report.

Read more clips here – there’s coverage in the Asbury Park Press, the Star Ledger, Philly Inky, Newsday and more, as the Mulcahy III athletics reign continues to shower shame on Rutgers University.

PolitickerNJ piles on with a pithy skewering of Mulcahy III the man who would be king (if only he had a brain and a heart and could shed that air of scumbag entitlement).

And College On The Record comes out slugging with a story headlined, RU Athletics Caught Embezzling Money, Again.

Way to go, Mulcahy III! You continue to deliver more media coverage for the university and, for sure, this will translate into more and better applicants and more and bigger donations. Righto!

The puzzlement is that anyone, ever, believed Mulcahy III’s proclamations. Somebody did, didn’t they?


“This Just Stinks”

July 30, 2008

So cried Jane Oates, head of the NJ Commission on Higher Education, per the latest installment from the Star Ledger detailing the collapse of morality and the flight of commonsense from Rutgers sports governance: “This just stinks,” said Oates…. “The people in New Jersey are so proud of Rutgers and the football team. It just stinks that this wouldn’t be a clean operation.”

Trigger for Oates’ outrage is that Mulcahy III made a key deal with Nelligan Sports — a sweet, no bid deal — when Mulcahy’s son, Robert J. , a former assistant golf pro, was a Nelligan vice president. Can you say: conflict of interest?

Mulcahy III, obviously, could not.

Meantime, CentralJersey.com editorializes today that “Review of athletic spending at Rutgers long overdue.” You bet. The editorial says: The only downside to lawmakers’ growing interest in how Rutgers spends the public’s coin on certain sports programs in particular and athletics in general is that an aggressive state review wasn’t ordered much earlier, before university decision makers deemed it acceptable to hand head football coach Greg Schiano extra financial incentives above and beyond his basic contract, or before the school embarked on a $102 million expansion of its football stadium — which is feared to be running millions above budget — or before the school slashed a host of minor athletics programs a few years back, all the while crying poverty for its coffers. All of these controversial and often strange decisions might have been averted had wiser heads in Trenton wielded their power of oversight a long time ago.”

Trenton, are you reading? You are being held responsible for the waste, the corruption, the moral and intellectual vacuum that constitute the Rutgers Athletic Dept. Don’t waste another minute. Throw Mulcahy III under the bus while the throwing is good. That’s our advice.

Speaking of that bus, it is interesting that, per the Ledger story, Slick McCormick is in full retreat from his support of Mulcahy III. McCormick, whilst on vacation in the Caribbean, is pointing out he came to Rutgers after the deal with Nelligan was inked (and didn’t that happen when Jocksniffer Gamper held sway over the BoG?).

Reports Pat Alex in today’s Bergen Record regarding the naming of Jocksniffer Gamper to McCormick’s investigative body: “This is the proverbial case of the fox watching the henhouse,’’ said Lisa Pantel, a member of Save Our Sports, a coalition that has been critical of Mulcahy’s department. “The Rutgers Board of Governors has already proved that it is incapable of monitoring the expenditures of the Athletic Department, which seems to operate under its own rules and standards and different operational constraints from the rest of the University.”

For our part, we don’t necessarily mind the presence of the old Jocksniffer Himself on the panel. Gamper’s presence, ipso facto, reduces the panel to a mockery and a vivid proof of exactly how desperate Slick McCormick has become. Nobody could possibly take McCormick’s special commission seriously and no one will. Thanks, Slick, this appointment saves us the trouble of putting up a whole lot of posts debunking and eviscerating your commission. You’ve done it for us.

One funny in today’s press clippings: cartoonist Margulies at the Bergen Record skewers Greedy Greg Schiano, Schianogate, and more in this cutting one-frame cartoon.

Memo to Slick McCormick: we want Mulcahy III fired and we want it soon. He has brought shame and a thick stench of scumbag entitlement to Rutgers. Terminating him, tout suite, is the only cure.


Just say “no” to Slick McCormick

July 30, 2008

A guest blog, filed by a current student:

The Hypocrisy of Richard McCormick

When future biographers of Rutgers University turn to write the unhappy chapter pertaining to the presidency of Richard L. McCormick, what words will spring to mind? McCormick’s Presidency might charitably be described as sleazy and dishonest. This man, who acquired his job at Rutgers only by concealing his impending dismissal from the University of Washington, has made his willingness to resort to lies, obfuscation and evasion the hallmark of his tenure.

From his 2003 confession of an affair with a subordinate at the University of Washington – forced out by the impending breaking of the story in the Seattle Times – (it’s worth noting that this “confession” was stage managed by the costly New York PR firm Rubenstein Associates) to the latest scandal of authorizing back-door payments to the even costlier Greg Schiano the President of Rutgers has revealed himself as a man who holds truth and honor in as scant regard as he does academic excellence at the university he oversees.

Here it is instructive to go back to the athletic scandals that accompanied McCormick’s time at the University of Washington. Below is a passage from William Dowling’s book, Confessions of a Spoilsport:

The UW athletics scandals had by now become public. The basketball team had been put on probation for serious recruiting violations. Football coach Rick Neuheisel, already notorious for shady recruiting practices at Colorado, was under investigation for his recruiting at Washington. While that investigation was going on, Neuheisel was fired for having gambled on NCAA athletics. A UW team doctor was revealed to have been supplying athletes with illegal drugs. The regents had refused to renew the contract of the athletic director. Yet what seemed more disturbing were McCormick’s relations with Washington boosters. He had eagerly taken part personally in recruiting football and basketball players, having them brought to the president’s office for a UW sales pitch… He had been investigated by a state ethics commission for flying friends and family, at state expense, to a football game. He had gone to extraordinary lengths to justify Neuheisel’s $1.1 million salary. “To get the very best”, he told the Seattle press, you have to play in the market”. He had assured citizens of Washington that “in Rick Neuheisel, we have the very best”.

It’s worth noting that the extent of the athletic scandals during McCormick’s time at UW still haunt the university today. In January of this year, the Seattle Times ran a scathing and much discussed 5-part series called Victory and Ruin, charting the depths of lawlessness to which the University of Washington Huskies sank under McCormick’s tenure in 2000. That’s right, 8 years later, Richard McCormick’s enthusiastic support of a corruption-riddled athletics program is still making news in Seattle. And for this pedigree, Rutgers last year paid President McCormick over a million dollars, making him the highest paid university president in that nation.

So, with the news fresh off the press that President McCormick, having been once again caught doing shady deals with athletics, is now “appointing a committee of prominent leaders from Rutgers and around the state to conduct a complete and candid review of the [athletics] division’s policies and practices”, what should we think? Does this man’s track record of scandal, duplicity and lies allow him the benefit of the doubt as to whether his committee will be more interested in facts than cover-ups?

Simply put, no it does not. Richard McCormick, himself involved in this unfolding scandal, is the last person who should be allowed to dictate the terms of the investigation into the money-pit that is “big-time” Rutgers athletics. It’s time for this university to stop accepting dishonesty and mediocrity from its senior administrators. If this university needs anything, then that ‘anything’ is honest, transparent, top-class governance. And we’re not going to get that from a man whose time as president of Rutgers has been littered with lies. The first step towards fixing this mess is holding those who created it to account. The sooner this failed presidency is ended, the better.

And by the way, the link to the Seattle Times story is here:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/victoryandruins/


Rutgers: The Mediocrities Multiply

July 29, 2008

Way to go, Mulcahy III and Greedy Greg Schiano — Big East beat writers peg the Scarlet Knights to finish 4th in the conference. Of course it is only an 8 team conference. Is this what pouring millions and millions of dollars into “bigtime” football buys you? What a disgrace. These clowns cannot even deliver on the football promise. So Rutgers now has mediocre — and deteriorating — academics and expensive but mediocre football. No wonder the state is investigating Schianogate and the rest of the inexplicable actions by Rutgers leadership.

Meantime, Slick McCormick — seeing his job blowing up in front of his eyes announced the emergency appointment of a “special committee” to investigate the financial practices of the athletic department and its leader, Trenton hack Mulcahy III. Legendary jocksniffer Al Gamper, former chairman and current member of the Rutgers governing board, is on the panel but the bulk of the membership of the committee is TBA, mainly because who would want to step into this particular pile? Mulcahy III, are you hearing footsteps yet? Somewhere there’s a big clock ticking away the minutes you have left in your job.

Keep in mind that Mulcahy III has insisted on throwing millions at Greedy Greg Schiano, a coach with a lifetime losing record and with so few quality wins you can count them on one hand and still have fingers left free to pop open another beer.

Schiano’s skill may be simple sophistry, at the very least he has a peculiar take on accountability and ethics. In a q & a posted on MyCentralJersey.com, Schiano was asked about defensive tackle Justin Francis, who was arrested last spring for robbery. At the time of arrest, with great fanfare, Schiano said Francis was suspended from the team. But hold on. Now Schiano says: “What I did when this all went down is I decided that Justin, regardless of what happens will be suspended for the season from competition. From that point on, I needed to wait until the legal system plays out. And I did, but from early on Justin and I talked and he was very forthright with me and I just made a decision that this is what needed to be done.

“So in the interim, at some point in his career he was going to need to have his shoulder fixed. So before we knew what we going to happened, he got his shoulder fixed. So he’ll be with us, but he won’t be eligible to compete by my edict.”

So…the kid is taking a medical redshirt year off…which he needs to repair his shoulder…and, somehow, Schiano thinks this can be spun as discipline? Hey, Greg, if the coaching thing doesn’t work out for you, don’t expect a job in the philosophy department, hear.

But Mulcahy III can top Schiano’s rhetorical flourish, sort of. The best line from today is in the Ledger piece: “Mulcahy could not immediately be reached for comment.” Do you think he’s out scouting retirement property in Florida? That we don’t know, but we do know McCormick soon will be handing him the gold watch…probably at midnight in a Piscataway mini-mall parking lot.

Oh…and here’s a little music — and a little more — for Gamper and his jocksniffing cronies to enjoy as they go about their work on McCormick’s small joke of a committee.


State to Rutgers: Open Your Books!

July 28, 2008

The bad news for Rutgers multiplies, as the NJ State Comptroller has now opened a probe of Rutgers finances, Schianogate, and the rest of shenanigans surrounding funding for bigtime sports, per another first-rate piece of breaking news filed by Star Ledger reporters Sherman and Margolin. Per the Ledger: “The review is focused on the financial management of the university’s athletics department and was triggered by Star-Ledger reports last week that detailed hidden side deals with head football coach Greg Schiano.”

Rutgers has until August 11 to turn over a list of documents pertaining to Schianogate and, right now, the university says it intends to cooperate (but how many documents will go missing en route to Trenton?).

Per Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who applauded the involvement of the Comptroller in investigating Rutgers finances: “The whole thing needs a little bit of sunshine on it.”

Meantime, George Zoffinger, a member of the Rutgers Board of Governors, told the Home News & Tribune: “I am chairman of the audit committee and it hasn’t done me any good. Maybe this comptroller can get to the bottom of things,” said Zoffinger.

Zoffinger said Rutgers should not have embarked on the stadium expansion plan without a firm guarantee that the money would be in place. He called the plan and the scramble for money “a giant tap dance.”

And word of the Schianogate scandal keeps spreading. Newsday is on the story. So is the Philly Inky. Watch for many dozens more papers to follow by tomorrow.

Also piling on is The Chronicle of Higher Education, insuring that the Rutgers reputation plummets further down among its peers.

Way to go, Mulcahy III! Rutgers is getting so much more ink than anyone ever imagined.

What makes all this so perverse is that experts agree the Rutgers football team is mediocre, with many preseason polls slotting Rutgers around 50th in the nation. It’s difficult to see why so much money has produced so little. But that is what the Comptroller will dig into.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Rutgers will pull the plug on the Phase 2 expansion, Mulcahy III will “retire,” and probably Greedy Greg Schiano will flee the state, all in the next few months. Keep coming back — the story will only get funnier.


Rutgers in the Press: More Bad News

July 28, 2008

Way to go, Mulcahy III, the nation’s press keeps writing about Rutgers — even the AP just moved a big story on the national wire — but the bad news is how bad this coverage is. The AP story, for instance, cites Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, chairman of the Assembly’s higher education committee, pondering exactly how much damage to academics will be inflicted by the reckless and stupid stadium expansion caper.

The AP story also ponders exactly how Mulcahy III can keep insisting the fundraising is going along swell when the prime players — Seatbelt Corzine and Elizabeth Ray Lesniak — have both admitted the search for $30 million in private contributions for the stadium is DOA.

Even the Chronicle of Higher Education now has covered this embarrassing story, so word of Mulcahy III”s folly is cascading across the college scene.

And nobody has a clue exactly what new math Mulcahy III is using when he insists all is cool with the stadium expansion — despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. What are you smoking, Mulcahy III?

Just seeing Mulcahy III puts one in mind of a line from The Departed: “bad haircut, no dress sense and an air of scumbag entitlement.”

Meantime, rumors are multiplying that the strong 2009 recruiting class assembled by Greg “Greedy” Schiano is beginning to fracture as the high school commits tumble to the realization that the Rutgers expansion will not happen, Greedy Schiano is all about me-me-me, and a Rutgers diploma just keeps getting more worthless with every day of bad news. Already highly rated recruit Desmond Scott has decommitted; watch for similar announcements in days to come.

As for how bad Rutgers has become, a report from the Center for Measuring University Performance tabs Rutgers as a dismal 54th in the country. The public ivy has become a common weed, as all pretense of academic excellence has been stomped into oblivion by the rutting jocksniffers who presently are in charge of the school. Make no mistake — the ineffectual push for bigtime sports has taken a huge toll on scholarship at Rutgers, as monies that had supported intellectual excellence (e.g., the Outstanding Scholars program) get wiped out in favor of putting more cash into sports. Do note what the university said: “Without state support for this program, the university is not able to support another new class of scholars.” But, apparently, it has a bottomless pit of money for football players on scholarship. Of course that makes it very, very hard to take any Rutgers’ claim revolving around intellect seriously.

And just when Schianogate is getting us down…there’s this cartoon from the Ledger’s Sheneman.

Well…Mulcahy III always insisted football would raise national awareness of Rutgers. Who knew he would be so right? Who knew Rutgers would become the punchline in so many jokes about greed, incompetence, and stupidly run universities? Who knew how swiftly a Rutgers degree could be debased? Mulcahy III you are indeed a man of your word…sort of.


Mulcahy’s Lies Unravel: Rutgers Stadium, RIP

July 27, 2008

How many more lies will Mulcahy III tell?

The Rutgers Stadium expansion is effectively DOA, per this Star Ledger expose, Fundraising woes have Rutgers scarlet-faced: “A highly publicized fundraising effort to bridge a $30 million deficit in the financing of Rutgers Stadium has all but collapsed, and university officials are now struggling to find ways to close the gap.”

For months we have said Phase 2 of the stadium expansion isn’t going to happen. And it is not going to happen. The money for it is not there, has never been there…and why the BoG couldn’t do this simple arithmetic before it gave the green light is indeed a mystery. The lot of them seem irresponsible to the point of criminal dereliction. Talk about fuzzy logic. If this weren’t New Jersey, everybody involved would have been jailed weeks ago. That is how funky the logic underlying this plan is.

Obviously, too, there is no booster base because they have come up with no money for the project. We said some weeks ago their total contribution seemed to amount to some empty beer cans…and perhaps we overestimated the depth of the pockets of the Scarlet Nation.

Probably the most interesting part of the Ledger report are the revelations that Mulcahy III has also lied about the Phase I construction timetable. The private boxes will not be ready by the season’s start, despite Mulcahy III’s strident, repeated insistence. Per the Ledger, “According to the university’s contract with Gilbane Building Co., the stadium’s construction manager, ‘substantial completion of construction’ is to be reached by Sept. 26, and final completion is not anticipated until Nov. 28. After a private tour of the stadium last week, Gov. Corzine, in fact, told aides that he felt the construction could not possibly be done by Sept. 1, according to administration officials.”

Duh. Why was Mulcahy III fired by then Gov. Whitman? “Newspapers reported that drastically falling revenues and chronic overspending led to Mulcahy’s dismissal by Republican Governor Christine Whitman…”

You’ll recall that, at a mid-July press tour of Rutgers stadium, Mulcahy III insisted, per the AP: “Let me put it this way, I am going to do this thing for $102 million,” Mulcahy said. “I’m going to have seats in the south end zone and I am going to have the scoreboard and I am going to have the club done.”

Righto.

Here’s another report on Mulcahy III’s mid-July lies.

Two realties:

* Phase 2 of the stadium expansion is going to be “delayed indefinitely,” exactly as we have been predicting for many months. The economic downturn will be cited as the reason, but the real reason is that the project just does not pencil out. It is a $100+ million monument to puerile ego that no one needs. And that reality has begun to sink in.

* Mulcahy III will soon announce his “retirement.”

The unknown is how much damage this reckless, absurd caper has inflicted on Rutgers. Who can take this university at its word going forward. Mulcahy III is and has always been a liar. Per the Ledger: “There’s only a certain amount of money to go around,” said [Assemblyman Bob] Diegnan (D-Middlesex). ‘It’s time for a time-out here. It’s time for President McCormick and Bob Mulcahy to stand before a group — the press, the Legislature, the board of governors — to explain what the dilemma is, and what their decisions are. I hate to say this, but they are destroying any kind of trust relationship they have with me and the Legislature as a whole.’”

Until Mulcahy III goes there can be no healing. Only then can the stench of Schianogate begin to blow away.


Schianogate in the Press (more)

July 26, 2008

Another day, another editorial attacking Rutgers. The Jersey Journal joined the pile on of newspapers editorializing against Rutgers’ lost priorities and the disease of Schianogate here. Writes the JJ: “in this part of the country, at least, not a lot of people measure an academic institution’s worth by its football program.”

Meantime, Gannett reports — per New Jersey State Assemblyman for the 18th legislative district Patrick Deignan Jr. — that there “probably” will be hearings into Rutgers’ spending on athletics in September.

We look forward to those hearings as a first step in restoring sanity to Rutgers’ budgeting.


A Call to Arms

July 25, 2008

Disgusted by what Schianogate is doing to Rutgers the University? Express your thoughts to people who can help change the situation. Key email addresses include:

* BOG Chair Howard – mwhoward@bethany-newark.org

* Pat Diegnan, the Assemblyman who heads the Higher Ed Committee (AsmDiegnan@njleg.org),

* Loretta Weinberg, the State senator who has called for a formal investigation (SenWeinberg@njleg.org)

*Matthew Boxer, New Jersey’s independent state comptroller (comptrollertips@osc.state.nj.us).

* Slick McCormick (koncsol@oldqueens.rutgers.edu)

* Mulcahy III — rmulcahy@scarletknights.com

* Carol Herrin, president, Rutgers Foundation – cherring@winants.rutgers.edu

———-

Short and sweet should do it. One alum shared the text of his email:

Header: Fire Mulcahy

Text: Rutgers has endured enough shame. Pull the plug on Schianogate. 7 major newspapers have editorialized against this fiasco. Why is the BoG paralyzed?

——–

Another alum forwarded his email to Slick McCormick:

President Richard McCormick,
Although this past year you promised “financial transparency” for
Rutgers, the current state of things seem pretty dark. In the course
of the past week’s revelations about the covert and sub rosa dealings
associated with Rutgers University Athletics, specifically the
contract of football coach Greg Schiano, members from across the
Rutgers community feel betrayed by its steward and leader.

Whether the most adamant booster or stalwart critic of athletics at
Rutgers, we were all intentionally deceived. This pattern of behavior
reveals a compulsive need to hide the actions of the upper echelon of
your administration not only from the public, but in this case, even
to members of the Board of Governors, the supreme governing body of
Rutgers University.

We hope that these recently surfaced “sweet deals” are isolated
deceptions done in a sense of desperation and coercion.

In order to assure the alumni, students, staff, faculty and the State
of New Jersey, we demand that all financial information regarding
athletics including contracts in full, budgets, and expenditures are
made public as to fulfill your own promise to the University of
“financial transparency.”

—–

Another alum sent this to Carol Herrin:

Header: Schianogate

Text: Obviously Rutgers has no need for our money — vide the gusher for Greg “Greedy” Schiano, he of the lifetime losing record — so you will understand that we will be emailing fellow alums and encouraging them to direct their charitable impulses elsewhere, at least until Mulcahy and Schiano are removed from the university’s payroll.


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