‘Rid Rutgers of Boosters’

Don’t they teach simple arithmetic at Rutgers?  You’d think that Slick Dick McCormick and his cronies on the BoG would have gotten the message that now is no time to talk about pouring $100 million into a stadium expansion no one wants.  It makes as little sense as a homeowner facing foreclosure who decides what he needs is a huge home equity loan to build a mammoth new garage and to buy an equally mammoth RV to park in it.  At least that home owner actually has a plan for filling the garage.  Rutgers has no plan for filling any new seating, other than continued reference to “the waiting list” — which of course was created when the program was on an upswing, not today’s Big East cellar-dweller.  Rutgers even is telling gullible reporters the waiting list has increased by 700 — but it’s impossible to fall off the list so nobody can say the 12,000+ on the list have any current interest in tickets (or that they they even have jobs),

Even the richest schools are scaling back in today’s economy, per today’s NYTimes piece, Financial Straits of Boosters Hit Athletic Programs: “Like the chief executives on Wall Street, leaders of collegiate athletic programs must acknowledge that the boom days of fund-raising have given way to belt-tightening.

‘Adjustments have to take place and look bleak in the short term,’ said Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma’s athletic director.”

Saturday’s NYTimes had another piece, Rising Criticism as Rutgers Invests in Athletics. As the school literally crumbles and tuition skyrockets, critics are asking: why put money into the sports sinkhole?  $500 million in basic physical plant maintenace has been deferred…and yet the McCormick administration continues to mumble support for athletics spending.  Talk about fuzzy logic!  “They had one good year, and everybody said this is the beginning of a trend,” said George R. Zoffinger, a member of the university’s Board of Governors and the chairman of its audit committee, which completed a report in February criticizing the athletic department for poor financial oversight. “One year doesn’t make a trend. That’s the problem.”

New Jersey will be particularly savaged by the nation’s economic collapse.  The Ledger writes: “A quarter-million jobs lost. Another year of falling house prices. A multi-billion dollar hole in the state budget.

Those were the grim predictions delivered Monday by economic experts and the governor as they analyzed the impact of Wall Street’s collapse on New Jersey’s economy.”

“This isn’t a recession,” added Kenneth Goldstein, economist for The Conference Board. “This is something worse.”

Even Seatbelt Corzine acknowledges the state faces a multi-billion dollar budget deficit — and there are no ideas about how to close that gap without inflicting pain on millions of state residents.

Nationally, the country’s imploded economy is hitting sports, hard, per this Reuters story. “Smaller crowds are only the first domino to fall for U.S. sports leagues, which could see lower corporate spending, flat or declining revenue and stagnant team values in a global recession, analysts said.”  

Keep in mind that Rutgers has not been able to bond its stadium expansion and the school’s back of the envelope payback hinges on spectacularly Panglossian assumptions about attendance and the willingness of fans to absorb ticket hikes and increased parking fees.  It’s all fantasy and the bottomline is: These are no times to be putting tens of millions into a sports program that is mired in misery.

Meantime, this blog was referenced in another NYTimes weekend piece.  Columnist Peter Applebome writes: “In the immediate future, Rutgers is facing rising financing costs, a severe budget crunch and a depressed economy that has all but shut down the donations that were expected to help pay for the project. And the questions raised by The Star-Ledger of Newark about the financial management of Rutgers athletics have hurt the university’s credibility with the Legislature at a time when it most needs it.

Chances are the situation will get worse before it gets better.”

In the Ledger, Bob Braun gathers up glaring examples of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the state’s public schools — and at Rutgers many of the most glaring for-instances revolve around the ethically troubled sports regime of Big Bobby Mulcahy, the man who cannot count straight.

And talking about counting…in polling at this site on Who is ruining Rutgers, we admit to puzzlement.  Slick Dick McCormick has a huge lead over Big Bobby Mulcahy…but 1960s era historian Eugene Genovese has picked up a sprinkling of votes.  Genovese of course was famous for proclaiming at a 1965 teach-in that he “welcomed” a Viet Cong victory and, in turn, this triggered a campaign by the state’s crypto-fascists to “rid Rutgers of Reds.”  For our part, we want a campaign to rid Rutgers of boorish boosters (and while we’re at that, let’s dump McCormick and hire a real university president).

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18 Responses to ‘Rid Rutgers of Boosters’

  1. Huck Finne says:

    It’s time to admit we’re wrong. The football team beat UConn, so clearly, RU1000 is completely off base. We’re just need to give Schiano time to work his magic.

  2. John Lister says:

    …and the football team beat Morgan State, but lost to Frestno State, North Carolina, Navy, West Virginia and Cincinnati. Hardly a stellar performance.

    And as for the constant talk of rebuilding and giving Schiano more time, the maximum time that any coach should have to show his mettle is 4 years. That represents a complete turnover of the team. If the coach can’t do anything in that time, then he should be out of a job.

    Huck, you just have to realize that 2006 was a fluke, very unlikely to be repeated on a consistent basis, which is why we are saying that Rutgers should leave the Big East, and join a league where it can compete sucessfully with real students playing, not athletes registered at the University.

  3. MM says:

    Nelligan Sports is apparently negotiating the naming rights to the stadium. Any thoughts on which corporation should get the rights? I’m hoping for Waste Management Corp. Stadium. Or Ty-D-Bowl Stadium. Or, for nostalgia, Greasy Tony Stadium.

  4. hinson32 says:

    I think the many, many people who support RU1000 should put up the money and name it Dowling Stadium.

  5. ferdek says:

    be serious and help put a stop to this “name the stadium fire sale.” Giving more money to these guys before the audits are done is simply insane and probably a fatal mistake by McCormick/Mulcahy. End the pain boys are leave! They will need a push so lets keep the heat on these guys. Schiano will be judged every Saturday!

  6. Huck Finne says:

    Mr. Lister,

    No 2006 was not a fluke. It was the product of a real commitment on the part of the university community and the State. You RU1000 people just don’t understand that we could be a real university like Florida State or the University of Hawaii. Nobody in Hawaii questions the money and resources put into the football team and they have a much better image than Rutgers. No obnoxious smarty pants nerds trying to point out what the “real” mission of the university is. Perhaps if you just loosened up a little, drank 27 beers, painted your chest, and went to a game you would understand the magic that Schiano brings to the Banks. Why I say, we should pay him another couple hundred grand so that no other universities think they can get him now that people are starting to question whether New Jersey is really committed to him.

  7. CommonSense says:

    How about T.Boone Pickens Windfield? He donates all the bucks,buys “all” the seats out,sets up a scarlet and black solar windfield, now that Gilbane Gorge has opened up and RU and the Booner get annual government writeoffs for this fine alternative method of energy. For those of you that desire to show up from 6-8 Saturdays each fall to help power the turbines and decrease costs for dear ol RU,your Boo’s will be appreciated by the student body.”Football,we don’t need no stinking football.”

  8. TownCrier says:

    3rd Time the Charm? Can it be? UT Chatanooga wants permission to talk to GS? Graceful parting of the ways for all concerned.Stay tuned.

  9. James Cahill says:

    More censorship in not posting my comments. Gutless as usual.

  10. SprintBallChamp says:

    Great idea C-Sense.Make money 24/7.Good show.Give that poster a contract extention,free car and house(solar powered ofcourse).

  11. RUSupporter says:

    Get used to it, James Cahill. You’re lucky they even let that one through “moderation.”

  12. ferdek says:

    Any contract to sell the naming rights to the RU stadium should be voided. The expansion should be officially delayed for financial prudency purposes. The two audits/investigations should be completed and vetted by the public and the Legislature/Governor. Schiano should agree now that at the finish of the season he will agree to renegotiate his pay package and make all details public before he agrees and signs. The coming depression will make many of these actions mandatory as RU struggles to save every class.

  13. MM says:

    Hey Huck Finne,
    You aspire to be Florida State? They are laughed at in Florida…eg., what does a FSU grad say to a UF grad? Welcome to McDonalds…may I help you?
    Such lofty goals. Doesn’t it bother you that CNJ is now more competitive than that quagmire we went to?

  14. Huck Finne says:

    It’s an even sadder state of affairs than I thought when my attempts at satire are taken as actual positions that one of our dimwitted boosters might take.

  15. RC91 says:

    What really boggles my mind is how long before the so-called commitment to building a top-division 1 football program took over the hearts and minds of the RU faithful, the academics, left to their own self-worshipping ways, plodded along in their overly-cerebral “give-me-tenure” world of pity and woe–giving birth and fodder to the PC movement that sadly pushed our nation eventually into the hands of the neocons and the “faithfully dumb” (most “Christians from Southern states”)–(and also made obesity ok but cigarette-smoking evil (I don’t smoke and am slim and the contradiction between the war against smokers and the “it’s ok to be 11 times fatter than a human being should be” really explodes my brain) have /had accomplished so little in making our university a a TOP-RANKED STATE UNIVERSITY!

    Schiano and 2006 did more for our noteriety than any academician has done in the past 40 years! Dick Hale, the former father of RU modern football, has done much more for RU than any of the academics have done–who races to RU for academics?! Sadly, so, so few–although, I love RU and I love academics, and I often hate RU football and am sick of Schiano’s “give me time to build this team”, I still think the argument of the 1000 is as weak as that as “we didn’t know what was going on in the camps down the road” of most Germans after the war!

  16. ferdek says:

    RC91: just a few comments on your post. The neocons’ agenda has been US foreign policy for sometime. Just look at all of the unprovoked attacks, invasions, regime changes and occupations over say the entire post WWII period. The most recent explicit manifestation in the Bush Doctrine and the New American Century clearly shows the capture of our democratic institutions. As the “exceptional” chosen country the US has roamed the world inflicting its “shock and awe” show on anyone who dares disagree with US.
    I would agree that there needs to be a common set of criteria that we all can use in measuring the progress/decline of RU’s academic standing amongst large state universities. Then we can turn to finding the causes for the progress or decline in academic reputation over say the last 20 years. It is important to note that the mission of RU is to produce well educated, civil minded, community supporting graduates capable of being skeptical adult citizens. The measurement of how well RU has accomplished that mission is also an empirical question. Scarcity is an ever present constraint and resources drawn away from RU’s mission to support an extra-curricular activity like football should be a cause for real concern for students and alumni and taxpayers. There can be a balanced approach here that can be explored.

  17. Under the RUg says:

    You claim two nvestigations are bing conducted. Well where’s the beef?

  18. RC91 says:

    Ferdek

    I was merely lumping the rise and dominance of American society of extremist views like PC-ism versus “religious fundamentalism” with the neocon doctrine (which probably was launched in a true and tangible “movement” by Barry Goldwater) in that the neocons successfully latched onto the fundamentalists (“God is in the White House”–a quote from woman in Louisiana prior to the 2004 election) agenda. Obviously, by masking their true intentions behind the curtain of “God”, they have been very successful in undermining the experiment that is America. Their support big business at the expense of those who work in the “big businesses” view on life has led to us the sad and sickly state of affairs that we have today.

    As for football versus academics? Well, honestly, I was proud (and still am) to say I am an alumnus of RC. However, what begs to be asked is this: are not professors supposed to be dedicated to their profession so much that they can forgo sleep, food, love and life all in the pursuit of the higher ideal? Why is the “motivation” of a professor tied directly to how much he or she makes? How many students are in the class, etc.? Obviously, I am playing the “Cheney’s”-advocate here (he truly is the devil!).
    I would for nothing but a day of free-parking and a free lunch over at the tenured professor’s club (if one exists) gladly speak on my experiences of living in Russia for the past 15 years–from where I write you right now: sitting in my office in Moscow! Perhaps, in the so-called loss of funding, the esteemed academicians should be a little more creative in enhancing what opportunities are out there; reach into life a bit and offer some exception and not-so-exceptional alumni opportunities to share with the current student body–there is so much to be offered for a full and brilliant education; but, instead, they whine, complain and whine and throw all of their wrathe at the football team.

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