In the Star Ledger, Margolin and Sherman detail the exasperating, devastating failure that has plagued attempts by NJ politicians to raise contributions to build the Rutgers stadium expansion here. Take out Seatbelt Corzine’s $1 million donation and, reports the Ledger, all other donors had anted up “$92,962 as of Sept. 3. Nearly all the contributions were less than $1,000. Many gave $50. One person gave $114. ”
That puts the fundraising drive roughly $29 million shy of the stated $30 million target.
You could not ask for a more eloquent proof of a lack of interest in Rutgers football. When the chips are down, the “boosters” sit on their wallets and that tells us precisely how deep their support for other university programs will run. It also tells us how few they are.
The AP has moved its version of this story which means that across the nation Rutgers fans will be seen as cheapskates and the university leadership as Panglossian dimwits thoroughly out of touch with the financial resources and miserliness of its minimal fan base.
For now, however, the big question is where will that missing $29 million come from? Best guesses are that the BoG will sell $100 million worth of bonds, even though the repayment scenarios for the original $70 million float were made of the stuff stoners croon to one another when high. Exactly how cockamamie the scenarios will get for repaying $100 million we can only guess.
Says the Ledger: “The Rutgers board of governors, which has known about the funding problems since July, has been examining alternate funding plans — including hikes in ticket prices and the diversion of millions in stadium revenues from other athletics programs — to help finance additional borrowing, according to a confidential cost analysis obtained by The Star-Ledger. ”
Put more bluntly — if the BoG votes to go forward with the reckless, unwanted, unnecessary stadium expansion — it will be paid for by stealing money from other Rutgers programs…and when that falls short, you can bet NJ taxpayers will be stuck with the tab…even though we have been asked but said “no thanks” as proven by our refusal to contribute to the “cause.”
Alums, meantime, speak up against “the Trentonization” of Rutgers — read the opinion in Targum. “Rutgers needs new leadership on the Board of Governors and in Old Queens. Nothing short of large-scale change at the very highest levels will bring about renewed alumni confidence in the direction Rutgers is taking.”
More alums speak up in letters to the editor of the Bergen Record here. Sean Hall (Rutgers, 1989) writes: “If Zoffinger’s values are so wildly different from his fellow governors, perhaps we need a review of the entire board. Perhaps we need a chairman who will actually address the facts and not just attack critics.” Doug Remer (1970) also writes: “there are very few schools in the nation – and none in the Northeast – where football pays for more than itself. Rutgers football runs in the red to the tune of millions.”
Why is it difficult to understand this: nobody besides the Three Stooges (McCormick, Mulcahy, Schiano) and the BoG wants the stadium expansion and absolutely nobody is willing to pay for it. Stop the construction now.