Foot in Mouth Schiano

October 15, 2008

Okay, Greedy Greg cannot coach — that is a fact underlined by his stranglehold on an ESPN Bottom 10 rung — but now he is laying claim also to expertise in architecture, bonding, and educational governance, in his latest demand that Rutgers proceed with the cockamamie stadium expansion plan.

As reported in the Star Ledger, Schiano wants it known that the decision to go ahead with the stadium is not President McCormick’s, it’s not the BoG’s, it’s Greedy Greg’s: “We’re going to get the expansion done,’ Schiano said after Tuesday’s practice.”

That is interesting because the day before university officials told the press that they “would not be specific on the scope of stadium cuts — or if they were considering canceling the project’s second phase — but said all options were on the table.” No matter to Greedy Greg, he wants his seats, he wants them now, and he’ll throw a tanrum to get them!

Greedy Greg did not force readers to wonder why we need to go forward with the stadium tout suite.  Nope, he said: “People want to get in to our stadium to see us play,” Schiano said. “We’ve got to build seats for them.”

Are these the very same fans who are flooding StubHub and similar venues with Rutgers tickets they want to dump at any price?  The same fans who are flooding message boards with vitriolic attacks on Schiano’s competence?  Those fans?

And this is at the very same university that in such perilous financial shape that it is about to impose another, deep round of cutting classes and firing teachers?  As the Ledger reports in the same Schiano story: “Rutgers has seen its endowment value drop 10 percent recently and with potential budget cuts by the state, departments school-wide have been asked to delay or defer all non-essential spending.”  Yes, that same Rutgers.

Message board posters tear into Schiano at Nj.com:

* Posted by MineStreet on 10/14/08 at 7:35PM

All Schiano cares about is me-me-me. If he wants a stadium, why doesn’t he lead the way by donating half his salary this year? He definitely isn’t earning that $2 million he’s paid, and a $1 million donation would shut up every critic.

Posted by schianosucks on 10/14/08 at 7:59PM

Every time this idiot opens his mouth he digs another hole. If people can’t find a seat, why have I been emailed asking if i could use more seats? The excuse is that these were turn-ins from the visiting teams left on the schedule. Maybe, maybe not. To even raise the issue of the stadium when neither he nor his staff nor his team have performed as if they care is the height of insult. Until we rid ourselves of the Schiano-Mulcahy connection, this program will go nowhere. Where are we ranked? 103, 104? Right, this program deserves a stadium upgrade-just like all the other schools ranked in the 100′s. 

* Posted by rottentruth on 10/14/08 at 8:03PM

Shouldnt Greg worry more about his lousy team then the building they ‘play’ in?

Somehow I don’t think that a 1-5 coach should be demanding more seats. Get some wins then open your mouth coach.

The anti-Schiano posters just keep piling on — because, around about now, Greedy Greg has been unmasked as the coach destroyed by hubris.  Had he any nobility, one would call it a tragedy — but the man is but a pig at the trough and in New Jersey there is nothing at all special about that.

Visit NJ.com, scroll down to the comments and start reading.  The ones posted by Schiano supporters are fewer in number, but incredibly funny.


Shoddy Construction Plagues Stadium Expansion

October 1, 2008

Club seat owners now are complaining about leaks that made sitting through the pointless Morgan State game all the more unpleasant.

Club seats of course cost $3000 and up and, apparently, takers are getting not only a bad football team but also a bad seat.

Of course there have been buckets of prior complaints about the contractor, Gilbane, so what better would you have expected?

The real question is why Mulcahy III hired Gilbane when the contractor had been fired from work on NJ public schools.

Meantime, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports the credit crisis leaving many colleges unable even to pay salaries.  And you still think Rutgers will able to float $100 million in bonds to pay for a stadium expansion that has a laughable repayment scheme and when boosters apparently were able to pony up only around $90k in donations…towards a $30 million goal.


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.


“Misplaced spending priorities”

August 9, 2008

Now the Philly Inky has joined the pile of newspapers recently editorializing against Slick McCormick, Mulcahy III, Greedy Greg Schiano, et. al. Rutgers, states the Inky, has “misplaced spending priorities.”

Says the Inky: “Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick gets high marks for returning a $100,000 bonus to help students pay their growing tuition.

The goodwill gesture may be lost on financially strapped students facing an 8.5 percent tuition hike at one of the most expensive public universities in the country.”

The Inky also points out:

* “Rutgers’ finances also have come under intense scrutiny after recent published reports detailing questionable deals designed to grow the football program.”

* “A plan to raise $30 million in private funds to help pay for the 14,000-seat stadium expansion has fallen way short. Now, the state comptroller plans to investigate the school’s spending practices.”

Meantime, over at the Star Ledger, Rutgers sports scribe Tom Luicci has the news that Rutgers has inked an expensive deal to play Kent State at home in 2012. Kent State demanded — and will get — a jaw-dropping $750,000 guaranteed payment to travel to Piscataway. Where will that money come from. Per Luicci: “the school expects to have some of the cost defrayed by the expanded capacity of Rutgers Stadium, which will be at 56,000 then.”

Excuse us, Luicci. We know you could not spell “verify” if spotted the consonants, but last we looked, Rutgers was very, very far short of the funding needed to proceed with the Phase 2 expansion which is where those seats get added. We know what Mulcahy III wants you to write but reporting, by definition, requires you to do a bit of verification. The $30 million private fundraising is a bust, as reported by your own newspaper. The construction estimates for the stadium have exploded well beyond the original $102 million. And now 10 newspapers have editorialized against RU, exactly none have come out in support of the school’s extravagant football fantasies. From our seats, we fully expect the BoG to announce within weeks that Phase 2 will be “delayed” — which is Raritan speak for terminated.

Mulcahy III’s spinmeisters must be singing that expansion tune exceptionally loudly. The Ohio press also is picking up on it. Reports Recordpub.com: “Rutgers will pay KSU $750,000 in 2012 to play a football game at its soon-to-be renovated stadium. That’s an unusually big payday to play at Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights apparently can afford to pay larger guarantees thanks to a $102-million renovation that will increase the capacity of their Piscataway, N.J., stadium from 41,500 to 56,000.” Talk about flimflam accounting. Mulcahy III apparently is “balancing” his budget with seats that have not been built and which are unlikely to be built. Just amazing, but would you expect otherwise from a lifelong Trenton hack? This is a state that is strangling in its own debt and Mulcahy III is a poster child for why we are in the sorry fiscal shape we are.


4th and Long at Rutgers

July 15, 2008

The Asbury Park Press has piled on the reckless Rutgers stadium expansion plan with an excoriating editorial that puts matters this way: “It’s a project that shouldn’t have gone this far in the first place. The 13,000-seat expansion plan was formulated and approved behind closed doors. As other sports and courses are cut, university officials are banking on the recent strength of the football program to carry over and pay for the construction loans. But as many national champions have found, a few good seasons don’t mean continued success. That gamble, if the state university has to be bailed out, could cost the state taxpayers — and future students — plenty.”

What part of acting like an institution of higher education don’t president Slick McCormick and the BoG understand?

Rutgers is crumbling, literally. The state budget is a mess. Taxpayers are angry. The demand for expanded seating at Rutgers Stadium is unproven — and we doubt there is sustainable demand.

Wake up and smell the jockstraps!

Send the bulldozers home. Stop the madness. And let Rutgers return to being a university.


Rutgers To Stadium Expansion: Drop Dead

July 10, 2008

“It’s a nightmare,” one Rutgers insider told Gannett reporter Christine Sparta. She also reports this: “‘The stadium is way behind schedule. The stadium is supposed to be completed by September 2009, and they haven’t laid down a brick yet,’ said another insider who speculated about a hefty $150 million price tag.” And there has been no progress in raising the $30 million in private funding needed for the expansion when the budget was a more modest $100+ million. Upsizing that private contribution target to try to balance this budgetary mess would make as much sense as balancing a household budget on the assumption of a Megamillions win. Rutgers football fans just have not opened their wallets to support this project — presumably because (although they can be vocal in their vapidity) there just aren’t very many diehards.

The state is plummeting into a deep recession. Rutgers football is an unproven attraction (will fans use $4/gallon gasoline to drive to see the Scarlet Knights, a second-tier football team on its better days?). The coach has a lifetime losing record. Construction costs — for materials primarily — are multiplying. New Jersey’s public budget is in chaos. What started as a risky, speculative deal a year ago, now — clearly — is a sucker’s play. Of course the university’s powers — Slick McCormick, Sweaty Mulcahy III — insist the expansion will go ahead, albeit in a “scaled down” version. Right.

What they don’t tell us is in what century this expansion will occur. It likely won’t be this one. We know that much.

It’s time to officially declare the Rutgers football fantasy over and done.

Even fans of the expansion are squabbling as blaming fingers begin to point and the hunt commences for a fall guy (Mulcahy III, is that a bullseye on your back?). Gov. Seatbelt Corzine is telling people he hears even the Phase I expansion — luxury boxes — won’t be ready at the season’s start. Mulcahy III disagrees. Or so reports the Ledger.

Newspapers across the country are diving on this story.  As word percolates among Rutgers football’s recent commits, how fast do you think they will begin to decommit?  Frankly, they would be crazy not to open their ears to recruiters from other programs because the message is clear: the Rutgers bigtime sports bubble is bursting.

Our bets:

* Sweaty Mulcahy III, at 70 years of age, soon will announce his retirement. He reportedly was booted out of a job before (as CEO of the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority). He knows how to make an exit.

* Phase II of the stadium expansion will be postponed “indefinitely”

* Together, those steps will represent a de facto downgrading of the Rutgers football program.

We’ll cheer all of that! In fact our party mood is so festive we just may crack open a keg at the Rutgers 1000 world headquarters and break into singing On the Banks!


Is Rutgers Pulling the Plug on The Stadium Expansion?

July 9, 2008

That’s what the Star Ledger is reporting – at the very least the university apparently is dramatically scaling back the ludicrous, reckless $100+ million stadium expansion project.

The Bergen Record also has the story.

For months we have castigated this project as obscene, particularly when the university is firing teachers to balance its budget.

Now, apparently, the ill winds of an economy gone sour are indeed knocking down this house of cards — just as we predicted months ago.

Patting ourselves on the back — we wrote that stadium funding would be impossible.

We started a death watch to monitor the collapse of this folly.

So it is all playing out.

Wake up and smell the jockstraps: New Jersey is in no fiscal condition to march foward with Mulcahy III’s folly.

Thankfully it apparently is getting snuffed out, before good money is thrown after the millions of dollars that already have been wasted.

Next on the agenda: let’s kick off the Board of Governors all of the boneheads who voted in support of this idiocy.

The next shoe to fall will of course be the many commits who start withdrawing their promises to play football at Rutgers — but we don’t expect that to gain momentum until Rutgers starts the season with several losses.

Stay tuned for Mulcahy’s Folly, Part 2: The End of a Fantasy.


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