“Jeer to Rutgers University”

October 6, 2008

The Courier Post News says it bluntly: JEER: To Rutgers University for deciding to answer critics of the university’s spending on athletics by hiring a new administrator in the athletics department who will earn $195,000 a year and get an annual automobile stipend of $12,000….This is a tough one to swallow, especially for students overwhelmed by their tuition bills and facing huge student loan repayments when they graduate because the price of attending Rutgers has gotten so high.

Dicky Costello, here’s some welcome music for you.


Witherspoon (More)

October 5, 2008

Memo to Richard Costello:

 

Before you get too comfy in your new job as chief janitor for Mulcahy’s Messes, you might want to poke into the strange case of Marcus Witherspoon.  We blogged about this a few days ago, and as we wrote it up, one strange fact smacked us between the eyes.  Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez — a man never in contention for intellectual of the year — apparently found Mr. Witherspoon’s academic credentials so lacking that Rodriguez said he was ineligible, would never be eligible, and would never play for Michigan, all that after Witherspoon had taken a summer course online via Brigham Young, with the hope of repairing his academic record.

Rutgers then entered the scene and embraced Mr. Witherspoon, cue the violins.

We admit to perplexity.  Witherspoon allegedly aced the course — a proud moment, doubtless — but that prompted Rodriguez to give him the boot?  Why?

Initially we asked the question, how could Witherspoon be eligible at Rutgers but not at Michigan, but we are hearing whispers that that is entirely the wrong question.

Mr. Costello, do you know the right question?

Will you share it with us?  We are on the edge of our seats and, frankly, watching the Scarlet Knights sputter is not filling us with much excitement.  You just may have the info we crave.  Spill, Dicky, spill.


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. “


Bill Howard: Impersonation Alert!!!

August 29, 2008

Blow the whistle loud for the Rev. William Howard, chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors.  Some nefarious evil-doer out there in the Internet is circulating two emails that purport to be the writings of the Rev. Howard but, surely, they are too dull-witted to have been penned by so important a personage in the Rutgers hierarchy.  Tell us you didn’t write them, Billy!

The first of the two blatantly wrong-headed emails is dated August 27th and it purports to be an attempt at an op-ed by the Rev. Howard.  We’ll include bits of it here because it’s doubtful any newspaper will run something this, well, boring and self-serving.  The author — we know it is not the Rev. Howard, so we will use the neutral “author” —  claims:

* It was…disturbing to read board member George Zoffinger’s recent op-ed, which impugned his peers and all but accused them of being careless and fiscally irresponsible

We hope Zoffinger in fact accused them (no “all but” about it) because they are careless and irresponsible.

This soon is followed by a whole bunch of 5th grade mud-slinging at George Zoffinger…and then the author moves in for a summary:

* My colleagues on the board agree that the university’s academic quality and reputation have improved during the same period that we have succeeded in athletics.  We agree that the university’s athletic program has brought credit not only to Rutgers but also to our entire state.

Uh…excuse us…it’s wonderful that you all agree that academic quality has improved but it hasn’t. It is shocking — and indeed does it not prove Zoffinger’s point that you are dimwitted toadies? — to claim that academics are up when by any objective measure Rutgers continues to slip in the rankings.  Now tied with Texas A & M, Rutgers is well on its way to being the next Louisville.  And that is not bringing “credit” to the state.  Were you operating in the private sector, the foreclosure papers would be stamped on your foreheads and the sale on the courthouse steps would be in progress.

* The people of New Jersey should know that their state university’s governing board members are talented men and women who recognize the stake that the people of our state have in Rutgers‘ well-being, and they strive to honor the public trust in every decision they make.

Really?  Could have fooled us.  Truth is, we still think you are jocksniffing cretins and, as for talent, it’s well hidden on the BoG.

Impersonation instance #2 is a document — also dated 8/27 — that purports to be an email from “Bill” Howard (doesn’t the intimacy make you go fuzzy?) to George Zoffinger, where “Bill” seems to want Zoffinger to resign from the BoG because Zoffinger has hurt Bill’s feelings by suggesting that Bill and his cronies on the board are incompetent wretches.  [You go, Zoffinger! Pardon our interruption.]

But the statement that jumps out in this email is the following:

* At our September 10th Special Board meeting, we expect the president will provide the Board with detailed information on all the issues that have been precipitated by the success of our football program. And later in the fall, the president’s special review committee on these matters is expected to issue its report. I presume a program of corrective action, if needed, will be aggressively pursued following these events.

The “success” of the football program?  A Big East bottom feeder? But, wait, “Bill” expects that Slick McCormick will actually present a plan that makes sense regarding paying for the expansion and “Bill” further expects the president’s special review committee will issue a report that fixes all ills.  We know no human being could be as dumb as this “Bill” pretends to be because every sentient being inside New Jersey knows all McCormick and Mulcahy are trying to do is cover up, cover up, cover up.  There are no plans, reports are whitewashes at best, and all this is obvious as the Trentonization of Rutgers steams forward.

That’s why we have this impersonator cornered. The chair of the Rutgers board of governors could not be this dimwitted and this much of a lackey, could he?


IRS Piles on Rutgers

August 9, 2008

Joining the investigative bodies probing the flimflam and chicanery that characterize Rutgers’ leadership is the IRS, per a story in today’s Bergen Record filed by Pat Alex.  Apparently, something may be rotten with how Old Queens is cooking the retirement fund books: “The Internal Revenue Service is examining Rutgers’ handling of two state-managed compensation plans, the university confirmed today,” wrote Alex.

What new shames will befall Rutgers next week?

“Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones!
Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack.”


“Football Fantasy at Rutgers”

August 8, 2008

The New York Times has joined the posse of newspapers editorializing about misdirection at Rutgers and the first sentence sets up what follows: “Ever since Rutgers, New Jersey’s largest state university, began its campaign several years ago to become a big-time football power, bad things have happened.”

Ouch, Old Queens, ouch!

And it gets worse: “This single-minded, ask-no-questions push for football stardom has now reached a crisis.”

The Times also says of university president Slick McCormick that he “has long been a shameless cheerleader for the high-stakes football program.”

The Times continues: “In a logical world, Rutgers officials would swallow their egos and admit that their football fantasy was ill conceived, especially in view of New Jersey’s huge debt. They would scale down the stadium project, especially since the university couldn’t even fill the existing stadium when the team had losing seasons.”

Just what will happen in this illogical world of ours? The Times doesn’t know, and neither do we. But we know what should happen. Rutgers needs to pull out of bigtime football, athletic director Mulcahy III should be fired for jocksniffing to a criminal extent, Slick McCormick should be fired for abandonment of his position, and the rest of Rutgers needs to return to being a university.

What part of: there is no meaningful support for the reckless Phase 2 stadium expansion, which is prohibitively costly and wanted by so few, is hard to understand?

What part of: despite pouring millions into the Raritan in a puerile pursuit of bigtime football, the Rutgers team still is mediocre on its better days, is hard to understand?

What part of: NJ doesn’t need a Louisville of the North, it needs a Berkeley of the east, is hard to understand?

The Times, for its part, points fingers of blame where they belong: at the jocksniffing Trenton hacks who refuse money for academics but open the state’s coffers for football. “Rutgers is a public university, and its spending should be monitored closely by state officials. But Gov. Jon Corzine and most of the state legislators are big Rutgers football fans, and that does not make for much of a check on spending.”

Meantime, the Bergen Record, in its Friday editorial, tears into Rutgers: “Fiscal responsibility is absent at Rutgers. And state officials refuse to rein in the excesses. While these same officials argue for reductions in benefits for state employees and a reduction in state spending, they allow Rutgers to spend and borrow millions of dollars for its football program.” Along the way, the Record calls the Nelligan-Mulcahy tie-up a conflict of interest (it is), it mocks McCormick’s returning his undeserved $100k bonus, and it expresses profound disgust at Greedy Greg Schiano’s inflated pay package. When the Record is done, it doesn’t leave much skin on the Rutgers leadership. “Where is Governor Corzine’s outrage? Why is he not demanding the resignations of the rubber-stamping members of Rutgers’ board of governors? Why is he not questioning McCormick’s leadership and priorities? Why isn’t the Legislature demanding a change of leadership at Rutgers?”

It is time to clean house at Trenton, booting out the hacks, the jocksniffers, the Neanderthals, from Seatbelt Corzine to Three Ring Codey.

As for the Rutgers community, our question has to be: how much more embarrassment need we endure? Schianogate has become a poster child for all that can afflict higher education when the powers that be (in our case: Slick, Mulcahy III, and the jocksniffing BoG) are so intoxicated by a Quixotic (read: stupid) pursuit of “bigtime” sports glories that they forget the foundational purpose of a university is education. When even the august NYTimes joins in mocking our university leadership, there can be no further disputing the fact that Rutgers needs new leadership.

We believe the count is now 0 newspapers editorializing for the Rutgers football hysteria, nine against. Even a booster should be able to understand a shutout score.

It’s Friday, have a listen to what we are listening to. Now, that is something we can get behind.


“Secrecy breeds skepticism at Rutgers”

August 7, 2008

Even Gannett, which has generally been favorable to Mulcahy III’s reign of self-indulgence, blows the whistle on Mulcahy III’s Nixonian secrecy in today’s editorial. As Gannett writes: “Rutgers athletics officials have no one but themselves to blame” and that means Mulcahy III.

Fire him, put an end to the misery of Schianogate that continues to associate the once good Rutgers name with secrecy, hidden deals and worse.

Meantime, the remaining members of the Rutgers special committee to whitewash Mulcahy III’s wrongdoings have been named. Ho-hum. A member of the Board of Governors, a longtime member of the Board of Trustees, a onetime Rutgers basketball player, Hollis Copeland…. What was the headline of that Gannett editorial? Oh, right, we are using it above.

We are yelling hurray because this group spares us the need to waste energy denouncing it. Slick McCormick has created a self-ridiculing group and, for saving us the effort, we are thankful.

Even a booster shouts on Rivals: “All in all its pretty stacked in favor of finding no problems, which is what we want.”

Another booster guffaws on the Rivals board: “ Not only they are not going to find any problems. Hollis may even bash those making unfounded allegations.”

Indeedy, Slick McCormick, that’s some panel you’ve put together!

To what end? Today another of Greedy Greg Schiano’s heralded “commits” has decommitted, as the fall-out from the Schianogate scandal inflicts more damage on the Rutgers reputation. We’d predicted this class would shatter; it’s happening.

Lastly, there’s this report that — surprise! — says that New Jerseyans pay the highest state and local tax burden in the nation. The highest! And yet state support for public colleges keeps falling. Where do the monies go? Take a look at Mulcahy III and the 100+ million stadium expansion boondoggle to get some sense of where our tax dollars are at work (or lollygagging as the case may be). Indeed if Phase 2 of the expansion were to go forward — without the $30 million Corzine promised to privately raise but he cannot because of the economy and with costs spiraling well over the initial $102 million estimate — can you guess who would be left holding this stinky bag of bad planning, cronyism, and ego-driven building?


Mulcahy III’s Tiresome Lying

August 6, 2008

In a turgid and somnolent Star-Ledger op-ed (mercifully not online), Rutgers athletic director “Big Bob” Mulcahy III, he of the bottomless pit of scumbag entitlement, offered up a seemingly endless self-defense of his many missteps leading up to the current Schianogate scandal in which Rutgers finds itself. Reading Mulcahy III’s screed — to the extent we could, without falling asleep — what struck us was his determination to keep right on lying.

He writes, for instance “there’s a tremendous sense of pride” among students and alums due to football. Proof? He offers not a shred, neither of the alleged pride nor of the causal connection between football and this alleged pride.

Football, per Mulcahy III, has triggered an “unprecedented number” of applications. Simply untrue. A lie.

He writes: “The student academic profile continue to rise.” Duh. The current demographic bulge is lifting every school’s academic profile. But Rutgers is in fact lifted very, very little.

Mulcahy III even lies about sports. He writes that Greedy Greg Schiano has led Rutgers football to “two straight championships.” Untrue. Schiano has never brought a championship to Rutgers. In 2007, RU was tied for next to last in the Big East. In 2006, Rutgers was tied for third. In 2005, Rutgers was tied for third. There are no championships, none, and it is staggering that Mulcahy III would try to pass off this stinky lie in print.

Along the way Mulcahy III indulges in wildly baroque ethical leaps, still insisting it is perfectly OK — not a violation of commonly understood ethical precepts — to do a sweetheart, no bid deal with Nelligan Sports when your son the golfer is a vice president on the Nelligan payroll.

Were Mulcahy III a freshman in a rhetoric class, his paper would get an “F” — for bloat, for specious reasoning, and for flatulent language. It’s a document that reads like verbal vomit.

Here’s some reading for you, Mulcahy III: The Rutgers Fact Book. The numbers don’t lie. But you do. You paint a picture of a school transformed — energized! reborn! — because of football and the reality is that Rutgers is stumbling ahead with, if anything, deteriorating academics for which students are required to pay ever more.

As Rutgers continues its deterioration into the “Louisville of the North,” it becomes an ever worse deal for students.

Of course the cruelest irony is that Rutgers still has at best a mediocre football team that gets not a lone vote in ESPN’s power rankings. Sports Illustrated pegs Rutgers at fifth in the eight team Big east. Think about that. Millions poured into the Raritan for what? A team that scarcely cracks the top 50…and academics that long ago sunk to the river bottom. Academics and football, perfect together indeed, perfectly mediocre.

Much more insightful than Mulcahy III’s endless self-defense — printed in full by the Ledger, we imagine, because its very bulk illustrates the desperation of a Trenton hack in his last hours — is this Margulies cartoon from the Bergen Record. The sound of clapping is our applause for Margulies’ recognition that, at Rutgers, football does nothing but siphon off desperately needed money from academics.

Really now, Mulcahy III, it is time to sail to Byzantium, old man. You are ever more obviously but a paltry thing.


Mulcahy Must Go

August 3, 2008

Mulcahy III’s rain of shame on Rutgers intensifies, as the Star Ledger piles on with an editorial, “Rutgers sports chief is out of bounds.”

The Ledger basically argues for Seatbelt Corzine to dump Mulcahy III because of the stench of inescapable conflict involved in doing a sweet, no bid deal with Nelligan Sports at the very same time Mulcahy III’s son, Robert J., was employed by Nelligan as a vice president. There is no other way to parse this. It stinks, period.

The Ledger also joins us in expressing skepticism about Slick McCormick’s special ethics committee (“having any confidence about the in-house review will be difficult”), but it pinpoints its opposition to membership on the committee of the old Jocksniffer Gamper: “McCormick should look for someone less of a booster than Gamper and be a bit more circumspect in selecting the rest of the committee.” We second that motion.

And then there’s Alfred Doblin, an editorial columnist over at the Bergen Record. He savages Rutgers and Mulcahy in his piece, “Return of the scarlet panther.” Writes Doblin: “[Greedy Greg] Schiano is the highest-paid state employee in a state facing a massive fiscal crisis. It’s time for state officials to stop drinking the Gatorade and come back to reality.”

Mulcahy III, meantime, has finally admitted — despite his vociferous denials — that the stadium expansion, if it goes forward at all, will be significantly scaled down. Our bet continues to be that it will be “scaled down” much, much more than Mulcahy III suggests in this piece. We believe Phase 2 will in fact be delayed “indefinitely,” as the worsening state economy makes further expenditure on Rutgers football look like a sucker’s investment.

For Rutgers, the wake up call out of all of this media attention is that the once positive press gusher triggered by Rutgers football has turned very, very sour. Fire Mulcahy III now, let the healing begin.


“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.


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