Rutgers Rot

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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6 Responses to Rutgers Rot

  1. ferdek says:

    If this site is to be analytical rather than gutteral, why do the posters continue to be vulgar using that “jock-snmiffers” term whenever they feel like getting down and dirty? Get rid of that nasty locker room lexicon and deal with presenting facts, opinions and suggestions for change. The pressure is really on to reexamine the stadium expansion so keep it up and concentrate on the pols and BoG. The challenge is to get RU back to a balanced setting of academic needs first and athletics needs second. After the games are over who really cares except a very small hard core football nuts who look at college work as a necessary evil…The pols and corporate bosses have their private boxes and booze. It’s time they got some attention for their role in this debacle. Even if RU won the Big East so what! High quality affordable university academics should be the driver not going to a Bowl Game that is forgotten as quickly as the beer buz acquired during the game. The high priced semi-pro athletes posing as students for 2 or 3 years should be given a shot at the NFL. Don’t waste time in NB go straight to the NFL.

  2. Milkman says:

    Kudo’s to Fran Wood for her constant review of what really is happening “on the banks”. Most media have now defrocked the Emperor’s Cloak and found it bathed in Greenbacks courtesy of taxpayers,students,their parents,alumni and former fans. To be truthful most no longer like the arrogance exhibited by the RU administrtors or the board. Most now want action to correct the errors made by them and for someone to be accountable.
    The politicians on both side of the aisle(i.e.Weinberg and Malone) are demanding it,as well as the the citizens,the professors,alumni organizations,the students and the media. So where are the supposed protectors of our state and it’s citizens? Let us hope we not find them enjoying free and complimentary accomodations,cocktails or other university services to buy their blindness as to what has been and is going on. Let us hope that the authoriities set up to set these things straight and to protect all are about to do their jobs.
    Censoring students at the Targum was the first sign,clandestine meetings, slush funds and then trampling over honest hard working student-athletes smells to the high heavens.Everyone else sees it and has writtn,called and protested about it.Why the deaf ears? As those football fanatics touted when Coach Schiano arrived here that “It’s Time”.Let us hope that the federal and state agencies now finally agree and clean up the mess.We’re waiting.

  3. cody says:

    UNBELIEVABLE, the story changes again. Howard now hints in the Targum (link at the bottom) that the six Olympic sports were NOT cut to save money, but he called it a “national trend”. Now we have a new version since its been shown that cutting the sports saved nothing and probably cost Rutgers more $$. What a weak new excuse for cutting 150+ student athletes in sports that generated world champions, Olympians, Scholar athletes, and successes in the business world. Can’t wait for the next spin when this one proves to be a very weak argument.

    Is it me or is it obvious that these people will say anything even if it conflicts with previous statements to justify their world view that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

    The BoG (Howard) also attacked Zoffinger personally in an attempt to discredit his view instead of presenting a solid case of facts to support their decisions.

    http://media.www.dailytargum.com/media/storage/paper168/news/2008/09/15/Opinions/Rutgers.Financial.Problems.Not.An.Easy.Fix-3430118.shtml?reffeature=htmlemailedition

  4. John Lister says:

    Howard can spin the story as he likes. However the announcement of the cuts was in an E-Mail McCormick sent to the University community on 14 July 2006, Making Hard Choices on Rutgers’ Budget and Tuition, and presented in that context.

    If the goal of cutting of the six sports wasn’t to save money, why was it announced with other budget measures?

  5. Milkman says:

    The State of NJ, as a safeguard to taxpayers and the student body, should stop ALL funding to RU until each meeting is again open to the public and ALL investigations of the University are completed.
    They can do this,so demand it of your legislators.

  6. […] is tumbling ever further down in the rankings.  The infrastructure literally is falling apart. Forty years ago, RU was a much better school than BC. No more, thanks to the misdirection of the […]

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