Mulcahy’s Lies Unravel: Rutgers Stadium, RIP

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.

7 Responses to Mulcahy’s Lies Unravel: Rutgers Stadium, RIP

  1. Richard H. Ebright says:

    I fear that your scenario is too optimistic.

    I fear that phase II of stadium expansion will proceed.

    As I see it, the fools (BOG) and knaves (McCormick and Mulcahey III) are so strongly committed to stadium expansion that they will ensure the project proceeds. ands is complete by September 2009. At any cost. Despite any cost increases and overruns (from contractors who know the fools and knaves will bear any costs). With every penny either diverted from education, research, and infrastructure, or borroewed, or both. And with the university stripped bare and left insolvent as a result.

    As I see it the university has been set on a sharp negative trajectory.

    A death spiral.

    RHE

  2. Grumpy alum says:

    Mr Ebright, I have the same fears. But they cannot do this without turning the entire university community against them, give or take a handful of boosters. The most heartening comments here are thos of Assemblyman Diegnan who, whilst he has been part of a state that underfunds higher education, at least recognizes that: A) this is a fools game that is parasitic on the rest of the university, and: B) that McCormick and Mulcahy are utterly untrustworthy. Given his comments, you would hope that both of these bumbling fools are not going to remain for much longer in their current positions.

    Nonetheless, I remain deeply fearful for the future of this university until these charlatans are held to account.

  3. Grumpy alum says:

    While I’m here, let me wonder aloud about why Mulcahy thinks he can coast through these scandals by endlessly repeating the mantra of “no comment”. Let’s get this right. He’s a state employee, yet he thinks that he’s not obligated to explain his actions to those who pay his salary? McCormick and him remind me of Laurel and Hardy in their blame-the-other-bufoonery: “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me in, Dick!” “Don’t you blame me, Bob, this mess is yours!” That they’ve gotten this far and made this big a mess says a great deal about the lack of oversight from our dire Board of Governors.

  4. Chuck says:

    Even though I’ve been a skeptic of the people running this site, I must admit after reading these articles that the stadium expansion’s planning has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.

    Any person with a brain knows that contractors will give you optimistic estimates in hopes of obtaining a contract, then run up the total cost through “unexpected” additions to their expenses. And I don’t understand why they’re not raising ticket prices to obtain funding for the expansion. If there is a huge ticket backlog, the logical and sensible thing to do is to raise ticket prices.

    They are also proceeding at an alarmingly fast rate. You’re suppose to complete the process step by step. And of course you have to make sure you actually have the money for each step before diving into the construction.

    There is also the problem of raising money for the stadium expansion because like the fundraising for the academic side of the university, the alumni are unbelievably cheap.

    What a disaster. No stadium expansion should ever use public funds that could otherwise go to academics. I hope it doesn’t come down to that. And this expansion is fairly modest. I believe a competent administration would have easily executed such a plan. The question is one of execution. But the planning for this stadium construction has been an unmitigated disaster. Have some financial professionals handle this from now on. Something has to turn quickly or Rutgers will be the laughing joke in NJ. From personal experience, I know their rep. in NJ is already quite low.

  5. Rutgers44000 says:

    ^^^Agreed, except for the part about no public funds should be used for the stadium… if the state gives Rutgers $30 million to use on academics, then that’s just $30 million. If the state subsidizes the remaining $30 million of the stadium expansion, the university will get a yearly payout from ticket revenue that will sum to much greater than $30 million.

  6. It's Time says:

    Indict,Fire,Imprison,who are ever deemed culpable.Extortion,Fraud as well as Theft by Decption are all crimes in the State of NJ,but haven’t been in the fantasy land called the “State of Rutgers”.The hierarchy,including the fumbling,bumbling board of governors is floating the idea that the regular seaso ticket holders continue to pay more,while the 868 selected friends and office holders get luxury seats on everyone else’s backs.This includes tax paying parents,students and fans has been what “the new game plan” was only ever about.Get the loyalist serfs to pay for the monarchy’s throne and entourage. “It’s Time” for Ms. Milgram and Mr.Christie to step in and do what they are being paid to supposedly do. All has been handed to them on a scarlet and silver platter. Will they continue to look the other way as the board of governors has done? Perhaps a state takeover of the school and a legislative vote to freeze any and all assets earmarked to the state university until the guilty parties are singled out and indicted.That would take courage and leadership. Hope there is someone who can run with that football for the good of everyone.

  7. EyesandEars says:

    Let’s not find out that the principals involved here were part of some sort of kickback scheme or are now awaiting a “golden parachute”retirement should more be discovered.Mr.Boxer,please take your time,the way the State Commission of Investigation did.They were “blown off” by Rutgers administrators as exemplified by the lavish bowl spending practices and red ink created.They just didn’t care.Now there are too many people,agencies and taxpayers watching every line item,questionable practice and excuse uncovered.”We’re new at this” isn’t going to cut it any loger with anyone. So do a thorogh job,refer any findings to enforcement bodies,if warranted and let the chips fall where they may,all of them.Everyone is now watching.

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