Wofford???

September 28, 2008

Rutgers ranks #112 in the current Sagarin, neck and neck with Wofford (?).  Somehow we doubt the Wofford coach is paid $2 million.

Way to go, Greedy Greg!  You are well on your way to notching a spot among the nation’s most over-paid coaches and could we expect otherwise when the AD is the clueless Trenton lifer Mulcahy III, whose career has been marked by a progression of money-losers.

Incidentally, yesterday’s Star Ledger ran a column by Fran Wood that contained this: “[Rutgers'] headsets cost $83,800, by the way, and since the team by my count has 14 coaches, that’s about $6,000 per set. Sounds like they shop at the same place as the Pentagon.”

As Wood knows, this is just one of countless wretched fiscal excesses by a football program that is drowing in red ink.  From unnecessary hotel stays before home games, to ridiculous headsets (has Schiano or his assistants ever said anything intelligent during a game?  They always seem hopelessly out-thought), the Rutgers football program gushes money — as $500 million and more in “deferred” maintenance eats away at the university’s physical plants.  Dorms and student cafeterias are distintegrating as football players wolf down lavish meals, all paid for by us, Rutgers students and NJ taxpayers.  Never forget: Rutgers football has never made a dime, its losses are well up into eight figures since Schiano took over eight years ago, and all there is to show for it is a football team with a laughable ranking and a coach with a lifetime losing record.


Racism at Rutgers?

September 28, 2008

Rutgers’ two biggest stars were suspended for the Morgan State exhibition — a sign that insiders say indicates a program hopelessly out of control.  There has been no official word on why the players were suspended, but there is plenty of speculation here.  

Some suggest racism — at the very least, a toxic double standard — played a role since Greedy Greg Schiano did not suspend white qb Mike Teel for slugging a teammate, but did suspend two rising African-American stars for an unspecified violation of team policies.  Lacking insight into what the players did to get suspended, we have no comment — but we will say it is intriguing that rumors of racism in the leadership of the football program are now rampant.  

Incidentally, per usual with the moral relativist Schiano, the young stars — who weren’t needed in a scrimmage against weak-sister Morgan State — will be reinstated for next week’s crucial Big East game against West Virginia.  Reminiscent, isn’t it, of Schiano’s sophistry re the Justin Francis fiasco. Count on Greedy Greg to take the moral high road, at least when nothing is on the line.

Game attendance for the Morgan State exhibition hit new lows, per the Star Ledger, a sentiment echoed by posters to the booster message board.  It’s obvious that a sagging Rutgers team won’t draw crowds sufficient to pay for a stadium expansion, meaning that if it occurred, NJ taxpayers would be stuck with the bill.  Basic maths skills indicate why this $100 million waste will never happen.

We like the lead to today’s NY Times game reporting:  “Bad weather joined forces with a bad team to keep many fans away from Rutgers Stadium on Saturday. “


Schiano on the Hot Seat

September 26, 2008

It’s official: Greedy Greg Schiano now has earned a chair among the top 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat.  Greedy Greg is #9, just behind Syracuse’s Greg Robinson in #8.

Here’s a tune for you, Greedy Greg.

The Detroit News, meantime, bestows the “goofball of the week” award to Greedy Greg and qb Mike Teel: 

We’ll split the award between Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and his quarterback, Mike Teel . Schiano is at least half a goofball for spurning Michigan to stay in New Jersey, where the Scarlet Knights are 0-3 and falling apart. Teel gets a well-earned share because he threw a late interception, then threw a punch at a teammate after Rutgers’ 23-21 loss to Navy. Schiano declined to suspend Teel for the incident. Rutgers’ opponents probably appreciate that.

If you missed it, today’s NY Times features an editorial, New Jersey in Denial. 

The Times writes: “The latest scheme to raise money for New Jersey’s transportation system is an admission of defeat by the Corzine administration and a victory for spineless legislators unwilling to confront the state’s budget crisis.”

We mention this because it highlights the caliber of the dunces, fools, and selfish cretins who have been prime backers of Rutgers football — Seatbelt Corzine and Three Ring Codey, are you reading?   Sigh.

Oh, well, let’s end Friday by listening to Greedy Greg’s favorite song.


Daily News Laughs at Rutgers, Mulcahy Lies, What Else Is New?

September 25, 2008

It isn’t pretty being Greedy Greg Schiano and Mulcahy III, architects of the multi-million dollar “Bottom 10″ football program.  For those clamoring for music to mark the return to the Bottom 10, here you go.

We would feel sympathy for Greedy Greg and Himself III if they weren’t sucking the very life out of Rutgers the University.  It must be painful to awaken every day, look in the mirror, and hear the mirror saying: Schmuck, you really suck at your chosen work.

Of course the laugh is on us because we — Rutgers students and NJ taxpayers — are footing the bill for their bloated salaries.

Now the Daily News weighs in with, Rutgers, N.J. in state of unrest. The columnist, Dick Weiss, writes: “Suddenly, the celebration of Rutgers football has turned sour.”

In a reader poll, at the time we filed, 70% of voters said Rutgers would not even manage a .500 record this year.  Personally, we believe Rutgers will struggle to achieve a .250 record (three wins) but suspect that is in reach.  

Back to Weiss.  He writes: “Applications to the university have tripled from last year and the university is coming off a record year in development, raising $121million, according to athletic department officials.”  Wow…does Team Mulcahy lie!  Applications are up a negligible few percentage points just as they are up at just about every university in the country due to a baby bulge that is producing huge numbers of 18 year-olds.  Bragging about this negligible increase would be rather like bragging about notching 800 on the SAT math & verbal…but Team Mulcahy could tell us about that, too, couldn’t they?

Weiss also writes: “the unexpected string of losses has given ammunition to vocal critics who believe athletic officials at the state university of New Jersey have engaged in an out-of-control spending spree to increase coaches’ salaries. The school is in the midst of a $102million stadium expansion project – whose second phase is to be privately financed – while the state is facing a budget crisis and has slashed state aid to the school in recent years.

These critics specifically have targeted athletic director Bob Mulcahy and Schiano, who was rewarded after last season with a 10-year contract that could pay him upward of $2million with incentive bonuses; an interest-free loan to build a house on university-owned land; the free use of a helicopter for university business; and a $250,000 side deal with Nelligan Sports Marketing, which handles the school’s sponsorship deals. The school is conducting an internal review of financial controls in the athletic department.”

Fair enough, we’ll accept that reporting, our only question is: what’s stopping Old Queens from firing Mulcahy and Schiano, the architects of this failure?


Piling on Rutgers: Welcome to the Bottom 10

September 24, 2008

The media are in a mad dash to stomp the Mulcahy-McCormick-Schiano delusions into shards, and rightly so.  Those Three Stooges have gone far in bringing Rutgers to ruination.  But their end is nearing, as it becomes ever clearer that there will be no Phase 2 stadium expansion and the only real question left to ask is: who will be stuck paying Greedy Greg Schiano’s $2 million pay for the next decade?  Yeechh.

Feast on the negative media.

The main course: Rutgers yet again makes ESPN’s infamous “Bottom 10″ football teams (in the #8 slot). Writes ESPN: “our pals from Piscataway have always had that Bottom 10 Verve. Welcome back. “

For more funereal news from ESPN, read “The Fall of the House of Rutgers,” a piece that zeroes in on Greedy Greg Schiano’s nonsensical doublespeak and also looks at the myth of “family” on the Rutgers team despite the Mike Teel punch seen ’round the world. –”In the locker room afterward, the Scarlet Knights players and coach repeatedly referred to the incident as something ‘in the family.’ If that’s the case, there’s no doubting that this is one seriously dysfunctional family.”

Memo to the early 2009 “verbal commits” to Greedy Greg’s “program;”  Listen here.  Stay committed if you like it.  If you don’t…you can break that oral agreement with a single word, nope.  Go with our best wishes.

The Star Ledger, meantime, explores the blogosphere’s coverage of the Teel punch here – and the piece references this blog too.

The Ledger cartoonist Sheneman skewers Schiano here

Oh, for another chuckle, check out the misspelled Jerseys worn by “Rutgres” players at the Navy game here.  Not only can’t Mulcahy function as a proper AD, he obviously cannot spell.  It stretches the imagination to see a “major” football team playing in uniforms with the school name misspelled.  Go Mulcahy!!!  Or should we type Mulcahey??

The Asbury Park Press weighs in with an editorial attacking McCormick and Rutgers: “Not helping the state university’s growing reputation for putting football before academics is the revelation in Sunday’s Star-Ledger that the state quietly has funneled $2.25 million over four years directly to the football program and athletic department. That money was tacked onto the state budget without public scrutiny.”

The APP continues: “Perhaps the biggest fumble in the decision-making at Rutgers during the last few years was to overreact to one winning season by continuing to pour the school’s resources into the football program while cutting back on staff and courses, eliminating other sports teams and boosting tuition. For that, McCormick and Rutgers trustees who allowed this to go on — and the state’s legislators who quietly channeled more money to the football program — deserve a big Bronx cheer.”

Our favorite, though, is the Daily Record’s editorial, Christmas at Rutgers: “It’s a shame money is not translating into wins for the Rutgers University football team. On the field, the Scarlet Knights at 0-3 are a major disappointment.

But off the field, money keeps on pouring in to the program. First, there was a $250,000 payment to coach Greg Schiano from a marketing firm that was undisclosed until reported by the press. Now, it surfaces that the state Legislature has given the university’s athletic department about $2.25 million in grants or so-called Christmas Tree items, over the last four or five years.”

 

Every dollar Mulcahy III touches is a dollar wasted.  That much is plain because his stewardship of men’s basketball and football has transformed mediocre low-cost teams into bad, high-cost teams.  And the recognition has been cascading through Trenton like stink on a foggy night in Secaucus.  

 

Feast on the realities:

* The stadium expansion is RIP (only the formal announcement needs be made).

* Mulcahy is a walking dead man.  Only his “retirement” papers need be processed.

* Attendance at the Morgan State game won’t top 20,000.  The stadium will stand half empty in a silent mockery of the premature Mulcahy-McCormick expansion plans.

* McCormick, alas, continues to preside over the academic collapase of Rutgers.

 

Hail the Three Stooges, hail.


Secret State Money for Football

September 21, 2008

At the very time that Trenton has been slashing tens of millions of dollars for academics at Rutgers, the state has — on the hush hush — directed around $2.5 million to Rutgers with the secret stash of cash earmarked for athletics, per today’s report by Margolin and Sherman in the Star Ledger.

This revelation comes amidst Slick McCormick’s continuing mea culpas about a lack of transparency in the stewardship of athletics — but the report came not as a result of a confession by McCormick but due to digging by the Ledger reporters.  McCormick talks a good game of being open, but in practice he continues to hide, to deceive, and wouldn’t you if you had authorized pumping tens of millions of dollars into a laugher of a sports program and at the very time that Rutgers academics are crumbling (down five spots to #64 in US News & World reports in the last year alone)?

Write Margolin and Sherman:

“Direct state assistance to the university and its academic programs has been trimmed by more than $16.4 million over the past five years, according to the school.

‘I’m a big supporter of Rutgers athletics. I understand the need for money. But when tuition is going up 10 percent, you have to think twice before adding it to athletics,’ said state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), a member of the state Budget and Appropriations Committee.”

Indeed.  

Stories about the athletic slush fund have spread nationally.  UPI reports here.  AP is here

And what has all this state money bought?  A wretched football team, so the laugh is on Trenton — and of course the laughs are even louder about the poor chumps who bought “luxury boxes.”

Even boosters are predicting that next Saturday’s game against Morgan State will play out before a half-empty stadium.

As Paul Franklin observes in the Gannett papers: “And so now the words of re grouping, of working harder, of not giving up, of being a family, all that continues to spoken.

So far, the bottom line is that none of those words are ringing true.

The truth right now is that Rutgers is not a good football team.”

We know the decision has been taken, now we are awaiting public announcement that the $100+ million stadium expansion has been canceled.  Amidst the region’s economic meltdown, coupled with on-field performance that proves this is no coach and no program built for success, there will be no wait list, there will be no sell outs, there will only be epic losses as Rutgers is saddled with many more years at $2 million per on Greedy Greg Schiano’s contract.  As the Ledger said of Schiano: “Just poor coaching there.”  And we can thank the eternally clueless Mulcahy III for the tens of millions contractually obligated to the incompetent Schiano.

Sagarin now slots Rutgers at 85th in the nation, and Schiano’s Stumblers are closing in on Syracuse as worst in the Big East.  Looking ahead, it is not inconceivable that Rutgers will win only one game (Morgan State)! Some showing for the tens of millions that have been pumped into the program by lifelong Trenton hack Mulcahy (an expert, apparently, in pork barrel politics but certainly not about sport).

Mulcahy, incidentally, will be fired before the school year finishes. We already hear the vultures flapping for carrion above his office.  The only successful athletic program at Rutgers is women’s basketball — which was successful long before Mulcahy arrived on the Banks and will be successful after he leaves.  He has had nothing whatsoever to do with that.  The programs he has touched — men’s basketball and football — are expensive jokes where the laughs are on Rutgers students and NJ taxpayers who are stuck with ever higher bills.  That realization has recently been sweeping through Trenton and, for Mulcahy, the clock ticks ever louder towards his personal doomsday.

If you missed it…yesterday’s loss to Navy was punctuated when qb Mike Teel took a swing at another Rutgers player.  Watch the punch here. Love that sportsmanship and how Rutgers is presented to a national audience! Tune into the post-game rationalizing here, as Schiano, Teel, et. al. insist “we are a family.”  So, incidentally, are the folks in August: Osage County. 

Schiano has refused to suspend Teel, per MyCentralJersey.com – “In my eyes, it could be a great teaching opportunity, as what not to do when frustration sets in and bubbles over,” Schiano said. “But Mike has apologized for what he did. There’s no excuse for what Mike did. It was inappropriate behavior and not something I or my coaching staff condones. But to make that the reason (to suspend Teel) doesn’t make sense. We’re a close-knit group and it was just an event that bubbled over. 

As a poster writes on the NJ.com message board: “We do admit that watching the travails of this loser coach and his loser program is giving us more mirth than we had hoped for. Schiano is the perfect incompetent to match the incompetence of Mulcahy and McCormick. The Three Stooges of Piscataway, Perfect Together.”

Another poster observes: “Mulcahy ought to rename the team the Rutgers Unicorns for all the other fantasies he’d have you believe.”

A third poster claims to see striking parallels between Schiano and G W Bush — “One gives us financial armageddon. The other gives us football armageddon….But at least Bush is not being paid $2 million dollars a year.”

We ain’t got teachers, we ain’t got classrooms, but at least we still have our fans!

For closing thoughts, we like Dan Spitzer’s in MyCentralJersey.com: As Rutgers football once again begins its descent into the abyss of mediocrity, and the well-to-do folks who are waging class warfare on the rest of us choke on their penne pasta and top-shelf liquors in disgust of the obvious embarrassment of watching the three “wise” men lead Rutgers into oblivion, I would like to paraphrase Bob Dylan by asking: “After they took from you everything . . . they could steal . . . how does it feel?”


Howard Can’t Count

September 17, 2008

“Regarding M. William Howard’s letter to the Targum 9/15/08, many Rutgers stakeholders, including myself, remain unconvinced by the assertion that $72 million of funding for the football stadium ‘will be totally underwritten by income from stadium and game-generated revenue.’ If Mr. Howard and his supporters are so confident in their projections, then they should have no trouble convincing investors that the stadium expansion is a viable, profitable business venture. Rutgers should issue bonds secured by football-related revenue and not by the general credit of Rutgers University; critics would no longer be able to argue that the expansion threatens the academics and infrastructure budgets of the school. I challenge Mr. Howard and the Board of Governors to find bankers and businesspeople willing to believe their projections. If people standing to make money on the deal don’t believe them, why should any of us?”

Alexander R. Rosteck 
Rutgers College class of 2009


Yes, We Ain’t Got No Students

September 16, 2008

The case of Marcus Witherspoon perplexes us and also reminds us of the Nate Robinson debacle from a few years ago.

Nate of course became a Rutgers 1000 celebrity in his day.  A lauded high school athlete, he had committed to Miami, but when it turned out he could not manage an 820 on his SATs (math + verbal), Miami rescinded its scholarship offer.  Schiano swooped him up, which led the old Rutgers 1000 to whooping about how Rutgers took in academic discards from Miami (which, incidentally, ranks much higher than Rutgers in the US News & World Report rankings; so much for our right to laugh).  Robinson, who apparently disliked Schiano’s coaching style, quit Rutgers, too, wound up at Akron and last we heard was trying to hook up with an NFL team and in that pursuit we wish him the best.

Which brings us back to Marcus Witherspoon.  A South Jersey prep star, Witherspoon committed to Michigan — but was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.  He took a summer course hoping it would restore his eligibility, but to no avail, at least not according to Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who said Witherspoon was ineligible and would never play for Michigan.

Enter Rutgers.  Two weeks into the academic year Rutgers found a seat for Witherspoon in its freshman class and a scholarship to boot.  

Rutgers leadership has offered no coherent explanation of how it might be that Witherspoon is ineligible at Michigan but good to go at Rutgers.

That is why we remain perplexed.  

This booster thread attempts to offer some clarification.

Note: as always we wish nothing but the best to the young men involved.  We would like nothing better than for Marcus Witherspoon to wind up a Rhodes Scholar.  Our questions revolve around Rutgers leadership and what the community is not told.


Rutgers Fans

September 14, 2008

See the fight at the Fresno State game here.  

Classic footage from last year’s Marland game is here.  

The Rutgers Finger Effect.

Memo to McCormick-Mulcahy: swell folks you’re attracting to the stadium.  We are told by very reliable sources that every game at Rutgers Stadium involves fights and rowdy misconduct by drunken fans, many of whom get intoxicated at tailgates held in university-owned parking lots.

But perhaps these fans need the booze to drown their sorrows.  Rutgers, in year 8 of the reign of the $2 million man, Greedy Greg Schiano, ranks 78 in Sagarin…and the computer says it is quite possible that Navy will beat Rutgers in Annapolis next Saturday.  That 78, incidentally, puts Rutgers at #7 in the 8 team Big East.  Some return on the many, many millions that have been spent on football!


Rutgers Rot

September 14, 2008

The Ledger’s Fran Wood documents the rot that is eating away Rutgers’ academics in this piece.  She writes: “academics are falling at the same time the school is spending millions to upgrade its football program and facilities.”  In the piece she documents — in vivid detail — what happens to a university that has a half billion dollars worth of deferred mainenance.  It isn’t pretty.  She writes: “if a school is willing to indulge in big-time bonding, which is precisely what Rutgers has done for its stadium expansion, you’d think some cooler head would have reminded the school’s board that Rutgers’ raison d’être — i.e., education — should be given a higher priority.”

Meantime, the Gannett central Jersey papers speculate that perhaps Rutgers’ BoG — in its zeal for closed door meetings and secrecy — is violating the state’s Open Meeting Acts.  We don’t know about that — we think the BoG meets in private because it likes to hide the depths of its stupidity and incompetence.  Wouldn’t you?  But then…by that token…perhaps Greedy Greg Schiano’s Stumblers ought to play in private because, despite the millions poured into that “program,” it remains a Big East bottom feeder.

Sigh.

Back to Gannett.  “So many of the university’s decisions of late — specifically those related to sports in general and to big-time football in particular — haven’t exactly been afforded a vigorous or thorough public review or, if they have been discussed at length with the university community, in many cases the belief persists that public opinion was ignored.”

The stadium expansion of course is a prime for instance.  The boosters — for whom the stadium is being expanded — care so little about the program that all they could donate is $90,000…against a $30 million goal.  The team is so bad the season ticket waiting list — which prompted pulling the trigger on the expansion — will evaporate by season’s end.  And yet Rutgers insiders keep talking as though bonding $100+ million with no rational repayment scheme makes sense.  Does Rutgers offer remedial classes in leadership?  

Bottomline, says Gannett, “Rutgers’ ruling body has managed to sow the seeds of outright distrust. “

Indeed.

Which bring us to the Bergen Record’s harsh editorial about athletics at Rutgers.  The Record wants to know why the six Olympic sports were killed — and yet money for football gushes.  It writes: “In recent months it’s become increasingly clear that there are major problems with the funding for the football stadium expansion. The university has also been criticized over other aspects of the football budget, including high salaries for coaches.

In fact, the state comptroller has already begun an investigation into Rutgers’ sports finances, including spending for the stadium expansion. “

Which brings us to the deliberations that led to athletic director Mulcahy III’s agreeing to roughly a $2 million annual pay packet for Greedy Greg — despite the fact that Greedy has a lifetime losing record and even onetime fans now admit he is clueless about coaching.  How many part-time lecturers could be put back on the payroll if Schiano’s pay were cut back to the $250,000, max, that his performance warrants?  How many more classes could be scheduled?  

It is obvious: Mulcahy III needs to be fired, preferably within days.

And exactly that may happen.  Rumors are circulating that Trenton’s warlords are embarrassed about the performance of the Rutgers football team on national TV.  Two blow-out losses have made it untenable for all but the most jocksniffing pols to put any weight behind the stadium expansion.  It will be “delayed,” Mulcahy will “retire,” and the Rutgers stadium will stand empty by the Army game.  You read it all here, as early as March 16th: “Our predictions: there will be a sharp fall-off in the season ticket waiting list (we expect it to evaporate) and, by season end, there will be many rows of empty seats (the 11-22 Army game will be lucky to draw 20,000).”

Now mull on the fans for whom so many dollars are spent by Rutgers. Not only is there the Rutgers Finger Effect, there are loud complaints — by fans! — about other fans doing unspeakable things.  Like urinating on rows of bleacher seats mid-game.  Read it all in this thread.


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