Radio 101.5 FM on the Stalled Stadium Expansion

October 15, 2008

The big NJ station reported today on the stadium mess, and built the piece around quotations from Rutgers 1000 member Robert McGarvey (RC 1970): 

“The university simply doesn’t have the liquidity, doesn’t have the access to cash to do much of anything,” said Robert McGarvey, a member of the Class of 1970 and the opposition group Rutgers1000. “I think it has to be postponed. That’s not Rutgers1000 talking. That’s not people opposed to football talking. That’s people who read about the financial markets.”

“There’s no way you can finance anything in the state of New Jersey right now,” he added. “Remember this university sought to raise $30 million in private contributions to pick up a portion of the total. Last I read, all that had come in was $1,000,090.”


Foot in Mouth Schiano

October 15, 2008

Okay, Greedy Greg cannot coach — that is a fact underlined by his stranglehold on an ESPN Bottom 10 rung — but now he is laying claim also to expertise in architecture, bonding, and educational governance, in his latest demand that Rutgers proceed with the cockamamie stadium expansion plan.

As reported in the Star Ledger, Schiano wants it known that the decision to go ahead with the stadium is not President McCormick’s, it’s not the BoG’s, it’s Greedy Greg’s: “We’re going to get the expansion done,’ Schiano said after Tuesday’s practice.”

That is interesting because the day before university officials told the press that they “would not be specific on the scope of stadium cuts — or if they were considering canceling the project’s second phase — but said all options were on the table.” No matter to Greedy Greg, he wants his seats, he wants them now, and he’ll throw a tanrum to get them!

Greedy Greg did not force readers to wonder why we need to go forward with the stadium tout suite.  Nope, he said: “People want to get in to our stadium to see us play,” Schiano said. “We’ve got to build seats for them.”

Are these the very same fans who are flooding StubHub and similar venues with Rutgers tickets they want to dump at any price?  The same fans who are flooding message boards with vitriolic attacks on Schiano’s competence?  Those fans?

And this is at the very same university that in such perilous financial shape that it is about to impose another, deep round of cutting classes and firing teachers?  As the Ledger reports in the same Schiano story: “Rutgers has seen its endowment value drop 10 percent recently and with potential budget cuts by the state, departments school-wide have been asked to delay or defer all non-essential spending.”  Yes, that same Rutgers.

Message board posters tear into Schiano at Nj.com:

* Posted by MineStreet on 10/14/08 at 7:35PM

All Schiano cares about is me-me-me. If he wants a stadium, why doesn’t he lead the way by donating half his salary this year? He definitely isn’t earning that $2 million he’s paid, and a $1 million donation would shut up every critic.

Posted by schianosucks on 10/14/08 at 7:59PM

Every time this idiot opens his mouth he digs another hole. If people can’t find a seat, why have I been emailed asking if i could use more seats? The excuse is that these were turn-ins from the visiting teams left on the schedule. Maybe, maybe not. To even raise the issue of the stadium when neither he nor his staff nor his team have performed as if they care is the height of insult. Until we rid ourselves of the Schiano-Mulcahy connection, this program will go nowhere. Where are we ranked? 103, 104? Right, this program deserves a stadium upgrade-just like all the other schools ranked in the 100’s. 

* Posted by rottentruth on 10/14/08 at 8:03PM

Shouldnt Greg worry more about his lousy team then the building they ‘play’ in?

Somehow I don’t think that a 1-5 coach should be demanding more seats. Get some wins then open your mouth coach.

The anti-Schiano posters just keep piling on — because, around about now, Greedy Greg has been unmasked as the coach destroyed by hubris.  Had he any nobility, one would call it a tragedy — but the man is but a pig at the trough and in New Jersey there is nothing at all special about that.

Visit NJ.com, scroll down to the comments and start reading.  The ones posted by Schiano supporters are fewer in number, but incredibly funny.


Welcome Back: ESPN Bottom 10

October 14, 2008

Rutgers now has a firm grip on the #4 spot in ESPN’s roster of shame, the Bottom 10.

Welcome back!

The writer, David Duffey, reports: ” The Scarlet Knights are only 11-12 since knocking off No 3. Louisville and rising to No. 7 in November 2006. Their slide keeps getting worse.”

And Greedy Greg Schiano — in a deal negotiated by Big Bobby Mulcahy — gets paid $1.9 million + a car + housing + who knows what else for this?  Sing along.


Stadium Expansion, RIP

October 13, 2008

Rutgers today essentially acknowledged the Big Bobby Mulcahy reign as athletic director has been an expensive joke (with the laughs on the NJ taxpayers), as the university — in a sweeping statement reported by the Star Ledger — took multiple steps to remove all decisionmaking from Mulcahy.  For months we have said he would be fired.  Perhaps we got that wrong.  It seems he will get to keep the big office for now, but nobody will have to listen to him.  Call that fired but still on the payroll.

Key among the announcements:

* “the university said the meltdown in financial markets is having a serious impact on its ability to finance the ongoing expansion of its controversial football stadium expansion project — and officials say they are now looking at various options to address those issues.”  Mark it down: that stadium expansion is RIP, has been for weeks now.  Word is that once this season comes to its miserable end, there will be a quiet announcement that the expansion has been “delayed.”  Until when?  No announcement will be made in that regard.  Consider this cockamamie plan DOA.

In an email from McCormick to faculty today, the president writes: “We are taking a hard look at all our facilities projects to be sure we proceed prudently, including the expansion of Rutgers Stadium. Fundraising for the project has gone more slowly than we had hoped, and borrowing for all capital projects has become harder and more expensive. I have therefore asked University Facilities and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to develop options for the stadium that would continue to place priority on constructing additional seats while reducing the overall cost. When we have more information, we will be able to decide how to complete the project in an economic fashion.”  That is high-level administrator double-talk for: we can’t afford it and we won’t build it but we are hunting for a soft landing to make the announcement go down easier.

* The Ledger reporting continues: “In a detailed plan laid out by Rutgers University president Richard L. McCormick, the state institution will expand its internal audit department, require legal review of all future athletic department sponsorship deals, create new policies to ensure contracts and procurement deals are not compromised by conflicts of interest and set up a university-wide review of all “high-level” compensation packages to determine which ones need to be approved by the board directly.”  Translated what this says is that Big Bobby Mulcahy will not be allowed to sign off on ludicrous $20 million dollar deals with the likes of Greedy Greg Schiano.  Adult — intelligent — supervision will be required before Mulcahy is allowed to play with crayons again.

Per the Ledger: “McCormick said the new layers of oversight he proposed were aimed at addressing recent revelations about contracts and compensation in the athletics department.”  Indeed…but these steps are also a last ditch effort to keep Rutgers at a remove from more direct Trenton supervision, as legislators — increasingly and loudly — have been complaining about the lack of governance at Rutgers and the waste of millions upon millions of public dollars by an athletic department that has been out of control.

In the Bergen Record, reporter Pat Alex delivers even more troubling news: “President Richard McCormick said more state aid cuts also could be looming for Rutgers, prompting his administration to warn of mid-year reductions in the university’s operating budget.”  Wow:  these cuts may come on top of the deep cuts implemented at the start of the semester.  That would mean more layoffs, more classes cancelled, and more deterioration in Rutgers academics.

Alex also reports: “The credit crunch — which has increased the cost of borrowing — will force the university to take a ‘hard look’ at all building projects, said McCormick. Perhaps the most high-profile of those projects is the $102 million plan to expand the football stadium by 14,000 seats.”  And of course it will be the first to be cut, if only because nobody can actually believe a losing Rutgers football team will pack the stadium next year.  That’s over.

Alex deftly twisted this knife: “Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano will be paid $1.9 million this year under the terms of his contract and is also entitled to a number of costly perks, including money for housing and a car.

After three successful seasons that saw the team head to bowl games, the Scarlet Knights have faltered this year with a 1-5 start. Likewise, private fundraising for the stadium — spearheaded by Governor Corzine and state Senator Ray Lesniak — has also sputtered.”

Boosters, meantime, are in full despair, as even they seem to dimly realize that their day is done.  Call this the day the Mulcahy Era officially ended, and when Rutgers began a slow return to putting academics first.


Rejecting a McCormick Invitation

October 13, 2008

An alumnus shares how he responded to a recent invite from Richard McCormick.

Ouch!

 

Ms. Giardina,

Will there be an announcement that Rutgers has stopped the stupid, extravagant, unnecessary $100 million stadium expansion and will be terminating the position of Robert Mulcahy?

I would certainly come to that event but, frankly, until such announcements are made it will be very difficult for me to support Rutgers University.  I have supported Rutgers (to varying extents, depending on my ability) for many years but that is coming to a halt.  Between the millions Mulcahy has wasted (and didn’t he know he was being given a do-nothing job at Rutgers after he was booted out of NJSEA?) and the featherbedding in top positions with Corzine cast-offs and Trenton bloodsuckers (from LaRue to Bryant), it is difficult to see how one would want to pour more money into the open sewer that Rutgers has become.

Of course I nonetheless wish Doug Greenberg the very best in his position as Dean of SAS.  I don’t believe I knew him during our mutual time on the Banks but I have friends who did and they speak highly of him.  It is wonderful to see folks with real ties to Rutgers coming in as leaders and we can hope that Dean Greenberg will join the voices in speaking against the continued waste of many millions of dollars on “smalltime” football and men’s basketball.

Robert McGarvey (RC 1970)

On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 9:31 AM, Allison Giardina <agiardina@winants.rutgers.edu> wrote:

Greetings!

 

President McCormick asked me to follow-up with you regarding the invitation you received to attend a reception honoring Doug Greenberg on his appointment as the Executive Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences.  The reception will take place on Thursday, October 16, 2008 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the President’s Residence on the Busch Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey.

 

Please let me know if you are able to attend.

 

Thank you!

 

Allison Giardina

Development Events Intern

Department of Donor Relations

Rutgers University Foundation

120 Albany St. Suite 201

New Brunswick, NJ 08901


 


Judgment Day: Fire Mulcahy

October 12, 2008

Ho-hum, the latest Sagarin ratings place Rutgers football at 97, ahead of Marshall but inferior to Arkansas State, Richmond, Buffalo, Weber State, and a bunch more schools we did not know played football (some we did not even know existed).  Do you believe these schools pay their coach $2 million per year?

That is entirely on athletic director Bobby Mulcahy, the village idiot of Piscataway, the same Mulcahy who has championed the even more idiotic idea of putting Rutgers on the hook to add $100 million of seating to a stadium that will stand empty next season as fans flee a football program that has imploded.  Says ESPN’s Brian BennettRutgers is just bad enough to be awful.

Even homer reporters have turned on Greedy Greg Schiano, as the recognition spreads that Rutgers — despite a bigtime football budget — is doomed to fail because Schiano is a bad coach.  Read Tom Luicci in the Ledger:

* “Greg Schiano [is] stubborn. He always talks about playing the people who give the team the best chance to win. But he plays favorites. And his handling of personnel is bizarre at times. Players have prominent roles one game, then disappear for a month after that….” 

Asked why is Rutgers losing, Luicci writes:

“Too much coaching turnover for one. Rutgers has lost a lot of top-notch assistants since 2006. Mediocre recruiting is another reason. There are so many “recruiting misses” this Rutgers roster it makes you wonder what the coaching staff was thinking when they got some of these players.”

That latter point is crucial.  Even when questions had been raised about Greedy Greg’s game-day coaching, most folks believed he is a master recruiter — and a Gannett analysis reinforces the contrarian view that that is baloney.  Question: why would a top high schooler come to Rutgers to play?  Schiano, obviously, is a self-centered ego-maniac who drives assistants away, he has no coaching ability, and he cannot makes mid-game adjustments.  So why is he New Jersey’s highest paid public employee by a wide margin?

Ask Big Bobby Mulcahy.

In the Gannett central Jersey papers, Paul Franklin, another homer, writes this: “Although the season is only half over, in truth it is quite over.

There will be no winning season. There will be no bowl game.

There is only an early obituary, a season that will be buried with three victories, maybe four at best.

This is a season that was born on promise but will die in underachievement.”

Wretchedly untalented as Greedy Greg Schiano is, the blame for the many millions of dollars of waste that is Rutgers football sits in Mulcahy’s lap.

Star Ledger readers know the blame is on Mulcahy.  Here is a sampling of their comments:

Posted by njdude101 on 10/11/08 at 9:34PM

Fire Bob “lost Rutgers millions” Mulcahy. Now. Please.

Posted by njdude101 on 10/11/08 at 9:43PM

“Newspapers reported that drastically falling revenues and chronic overspending [at the meadowlands] led to Mulcahy’s dismissal by Republican Governor Christine Whitman, who, in a deal with Democratic legislative leaders, was persuaded to appoint Mulcahy Athletics Director of Rutgers University. Though the appointment was reportedly made in defiance of the wishes of Francis L. Lawrence…”

Now this guy has given the RU screw to Rutgers students, alumni and taxpayers. Way to go buddy. I’m sure Schiano is upset – he’s probably using C-notes to dry his tears.

—-

Posted by shoredogb on 10/11/08 at 9:50PM

Instead of firing Mulcahy, give him a raise, extend his contract so in turn he can add more seats to the stadium, give Schiano additional money under the table, extend his contract which will motivate him to win an extra game or two. This in turn will cause Rutgers to become more of a laughing stock in New Jersey and college athletics than it already is.

Posted by rutgersred on 10/12/08 at 1:59AM

Greg Schiano: He looks like a coach. He talks like a coach. He acts like a coach. BUT he is not a coach.

$2 miilion dollars for this??????

———-

Posted by njisdonewith on 10/12/08 at 12:37PM

Just got a call the other night from Rutgers asking for a donation…after I stopped laughing, I told them call Schiano and ask him. If they can afford to pay a coach 2 million, let alone all the questionable perks, then they don’t need my money.

I do send money to my other alma mater…they value education above sports.

Headline: tomorrow, Oct. 13th, the Rutgers Board of Governors meets.  Await an announcement that Phase 2 of the stadium expansion is “delayed.”  That’s the word on the street in Trenton and in the blogosphere.


Rutgers Snagged in Credit Crunch

October 11, 2008

The meltdown of capital markets has hit Rutgers, hard, per breaking news from Bloomberg: “Rutgers University’s interest rates on some of its commercial paper more than quadrupled this month as concerns about its buyer of last resort, Wachovia Corp., drove up borrowing costs for New Jersey’s largest university.

The rates rose to as much as 8 percent from 1.7 percent on some of the commercial paper it offered this week, said Linda Fan, a managing director in the higher education financing division of Prager, Sealy & Co., Rutgers’ financial adviser.”

There also are questions about capital availability at any price — all of which puts into question the cockamamie stadium expansion plan, which would involve issuing around $100 million in paper backed up by a delusionary plan (it presupposes near sell outs for years along with fan acceptance of stiff ticket price hikes).

Particularly impacted, says the Bloomberg story, is financing for capital construction projects.

Speaking of sell-outs, tickets are easily available to all remaining RU home games.  Talk about a junk bond backed by voodoo economics!

Meantime…women in the political science department are loudly complaining about gender bias, and the story is getting picked up broadly.  The Chronicle of Higher Education leads off its story with this: “Female faculty members and graduate students in Rutgers University’s political-science department feel unfairly compensated and shut out of leadership positions by their male counterparts, says an internal university report obtained by The Chronicle. In at least one case, a woman has been afraid to complain about sexual harassment because of worries about retaliation.”

It’s all just more shame on Rutgers as the McCormick Era pursues jocks over all else.