State to Rutgers: Open Your Books!

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.

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16 Responses to State to Rutgers: Open Your Books!

  1. Grumpy alum says:

    This is extremely heartening, but it needs to be the first phase of a broader investigation into spending priorities at Rutgers. That classrooms and buildings are rotting while our greedy and egomanaical coach travels to New York via helicopter is as big a scandal as the numerous shady dealings that surround his tenure. If we can’t afford to provide decent classrooms for students, but can fund a ceaseless list of football demands, to what extent are we still a university?

  2. EyesandEars says:

    Agreed. Over the last 8-10 years,there have been so many questionable moves and things glossed over from spending practices to criminaities,backdoor admissions procedures and now slush funds uncovered.Gilbane had a horrific batting record from Louisiana to Massachusettes and that still didn’t slow the process of getting 868 favored people into luxury seats. One has to wonder if there are any kickbacks involved now also,since this whole mess centers around questionable and exhorbitant contract extentions,single bid contracts for large projects perhaps and spending huge sums off monies that Rutgers did not have in the bank yet. Is a State takeover warranted to get control of thing? Probably.Will it be done,doubtful,now that the Governor has invested a quarter of a millio of his own money into this astronomical and most embarrassing boondoggle. Finish the Croney Lounge,if you must Make sure that a true and honest building inspection is completed by Piscataway,state and federla building authorities.Pay Gilbane for what they have done to date. Stop, see how much is actually left in the kitty.Turn it over to the Comptrollers office and don’t put the rest of the burden on the blue collar fans and students any longer.They have been beat up enough and should no longer be forced to bail Rutgers out for their arrogant ineptness exhibited so far.
    Clean the house out and order new elections for a brand new board of overseers and restore confidence that is so deeply needed at this point. Governor Corzine promised openess and to tackle corruption in all areas of the state.Well now is his chance to prove it to everyone and get it done the right way,once and for all.

  3. bronxboy says:

    If anything this audit may actually determine the exact amount of money the program has lost over the last ten years or so and announce it publically. The citizens need to know the drain big time football has been on the school. Until the university gets off the Division IA football merry go round RU will never again be a true institution of higher education. Big time football is a bottomless money pit requiring ever increasing revenues each year to stay “competitive.” It’s a losing proposition that is inevitably damaging to academics.

    Unfortunately, the real possibility exists that this will only be a cursory investigation and Corzine, Codey and Lesniak will engineer a whitewash to keep the stadium expansion on target. Many politicians and the BOG are deeply committed to big time football. The 30 million shortfall plus the cost overruns will be covered by money diverted from academics with a promise of additional funding from the State in future budgets to compensate for this “temporary” loss. Additional money will also be pledged to the college from the huge influx of dollars anticipated from the wonderful new stadium and highly rated in the BCS poll and third best in APR ranked Scarlet Knights. Everyone knows a college is worthless without a successful big time football team. Meanwhile, the athletics department will admit to “errors in judgment” and humbly promise to be more “transparent” about its coaching contracts.

    After the crisis passes don’t hold your breath waiting for the money from Trenton and it’ll be back to business as usual. RU’s death spiral will only intensify.

  4. carmine says:

    whine on. Zoff’s kid didn’t get the stadium contract, so now he’s po’ed. Be careful who you line up with, it might tarnish your moral superiority.

  5. Rutgers44000 says:

    bronxboy, what do you propose Rutgers does… drop down to 1AA and lose even more money, and get next to no exposure from football?

  6. JoeWillie12 says:

    First they should lose the liars,reestablish the six sports programs eliminated and bring in someone that can schedule and show a plus from bowl games.No more contract extentions for ineptness.No more hidden agendas,funds and decption would be nice for a start.

  7. Selective says:

    Everyone who thinks Rutgers would stop having its budget cut if we eliminated football please raise your hands.

    Wow, that’s pretty impressive. You mean you honestly believe that they’ll keep our operating budget the same, or maybe even support the state university if we cut out one sport? Is that what all the state senators are slashing our budget for? Because they’re angry we have a football team?

    Hm. Didn’t know that.

  8. Concerned says:

    Rutgers44000 said “…what do you propose Rutgers does… drop down to 1AA …”

    Well, honestly? Um, yeah, RU should go at least 1AA. What they should really do is go Division 3 with the rest of the state schools. RU is overmatched and outclassed in the Big East. They should save the money and put it into educating New Jersey’s students instead of paying Schiano who is just stringing all of you along.

  9. bronxboy says:

    Playing Div.IAA isn’t about solving the budgetary problems of New Jersey and won’t guarantee increased funding from Trenton. It will allow the school to get its own economic affairs in order and send the clear message that academics are once again the clear priority at RU.

    Shedding the negative image of RU as a misguided, academically declining, morally bankrupt football factory will do wonders for the reputation of the school. Since the inception of college football and for over 100 years thereafter RU practiced participatory athletics and upon its designation as the State U embodied with pride and distinction the public ivy model. It can and should do so again.

  10. Chuck says:

    Here’s a reality check. Let’s say Rutgers completely eliminates football tomorrow. Will Rutgers improve. NO, it won’t. Why? Because Rutgers will still have no money! For all those thinking a quick fix will do, please think again.

    I’m not thrilled with the way the stadium expansion has been handled, but football is not he problem here. The problem is an incompetent administration who made every conceivable mistake in the process of expanding the stadium.

    As for football, you cannot expect immediate results. This is what critics do. They set impossible standards that don’t account for the fact that Rutgers was literally the worst team in college football for a long, long time. To transition from that, you need time. You need players. This isn’t going to happen overnight, so give it some time. I think if GS does not reach a BCS bowl in 3 years, then Rutgers will have problems. For now, tickets seem to be flowing rather smoothly.

  11. EyesandEars says:

    This is the 8th year. How about all the off field incidents.Let’s pretend they didn’t happen?The initial probation.Conveniently forgot about that also.The elimination of six academically sound and longtime sports for the sake of football.Flagrant misuse of funds.Never making a profit in a season regardless of post season play.Now hiding funds. When is someone ultimately held accountable for anything? One wonders how deep this all goes as no action has ever been taken to cure any of these ills. Are there kickbacks involved to keep this money pit and cash flow to a few going?Does this wind up on the doorstep of some politician or at the statehouse?Mr.Boxer, leave no stone unturned,everyone in this state deserves better and it getting done the correct way.

  12. Grumpy alum says:

    What about the well-known (at least, among concerned alumni) current player who came to Rutgers with a fake degree from a non-existent high school? It’s a sad fact, but you cannot run a big-time football program without all of these sores of corruption: fake degrees, special treatment, blind eyes being turned, and so forth. Look at Penn State. Even our friend Chuck’s Michigan (a favorite model for boosters) has been caught shuffling athletets into phony courses where they receive passing grades for doing nothing. Yet we’re supposed to give this corrupt program “more time” and in the meantime keep pouring money into it? What a sucker’s game. Fire the corrupt AD, the greedy coach, and the dishonest President, and return Rutgers to its role as a university.

  13. It's Time says:

    The dissing of the Naval Academy over the years home and away has also irked many supporters and detractors alike. The coach and AD still maintaining a posture of not allowing either academy to march into the stadium,the disresptful act of not exiting the pregame warmup in Annapolis a few years back and the greetings bestowed upon their family members by the new breed of fan they wanted speak volumes on where they want this program to go. The Miami Thug mentality has been harbored nurtured and embraced in Piscataway for the last eight seasons.

  14. Rutgers44000 says:

    Are you serious?! The “Miami thug mentality” has taken over at Rutgers because the media made is sound like the entire student body rather than a couple hundred drunk a**holes were disrespecting the naval academy?

  15. It's Time says:

    Still exists. Gun wielding criminal Justin Francis,gets his shoulder medically repaired after the student holdups at RU expense at the order of the coach.Couldn’t have hurt it mugging students now could he?Take care of the cons but eliminate true student-athletes and their sports at Miami-Dade County Correctional Facility North. Instead of the black uniform debacle against the Mountaineers last year, why not just clad these scholars in black and white stripes,so as to prepare them for what really awaits.

  16. Rutgers44000 says:

    OMG Justin Francis didn’t mug anyone, there was one incident where he waved a gun (most likely fake) around… stupid and wrong? Yes. Proof that Rutgers football is a bunch of thugs? Not even close. The rest of your post is a whole lot of nothing.

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