Before Posting Comments

Before You Leave a Comment:

We appreciate your feedback and comments, even from those who have differing opinions. We respect the opinions of others and do not want to deny their due space if they wish to comment, but of course a certain level of respect should be maintained. This is not a bathroom wall in the river dorms; we don’t need any more graffiti. Please refrain from inappropriate language, blind thoughtless attacks, and repetitive arguments.

Below are a couple of additional pieces of information that you should know:

1. There is no opposition to any athletes or student athletes. Our opposition is against any institution that lures athletes into a program, veils them as “student-athletes,” and then proceeds to exploit them as unpaid professionals, ignoring any academic commitment above making these athletes meet the bare-minimum standards to be eligible to play.

2. This argument is not just about football and basketball or even big time college athletics. It is about the University’s failure to unequivocally make academics and the education of its students its number one priority.

3. Athletics departments generally don’t make money, Rutgers never has. Only a handful of athletics programs make money each year and most do not do so consistently. What makes Rutgers think that it can all of a sudden break into this small circle among 118 other Division-IA schools? Of course you have to spend money to make money. $300 million and still in the red? What financial genius is running this operation?

4. Student athletes really do exist. They have existed at Rutgers since the first football game in 1869 against Princeton. They still do exist on campus, participating in track, rugby, swimming, crew, etc. The difference is that they are real students. They participate the same way a student would join a musical ensemble or a publication and in many cases they are some of the busiest students on campus. This is because they have real majors and course loads like Chemistry, Political Science, and Economics, unlike the vast majority of D-I football and basketball players who all too often are enrolled in the easiest programs possible in order to simply keep them eligible to play. Yes, there are a very small handful of football and basketball players that manage time to be real students, but these exceptional ones are an increasing rarity.

5. We don’t want Rutgers to be an Ivy-league school. We want Rutgers to be one of the best public universities in the nation. All too often money stands in between students and high quality education. It is public universities like Rutgers that have a chance to offer the best possible education to New Jersey students at an affordable cost in comparison to other schools.

6. The current spike in college applications is a national trend simply because more people are applying to colleges right now. Almost every school in the nation currently receives all-time high numbers of applicants and this trend will decline in the coming year.


14 Responses to Before Posting Comments

  1. BigZoffdaMan says:

    Zoffinger laid it all out and NOONE at Rutgers or at the statehouse bothered to listen. This in the end was only for fatcats,politicians and friends of the hierarchy to have a place to stay warm and imbibe as they pretended their way through the Piscataway Pipedream at everyone else’s expense. Is it time for yet another agency or person to look into Rutgers much maligned overspending practices? Thank you to Gilbane Construction for shedding further light on what really goes on at dear ol RU!

  2. hinson32 says:

    Since Schiano has arrived season tickets have gone from 9k up to 26k. After this year is complete Rutgers Stadium will of had 17 consecutive sell out crowds. The donations to Scarlet R are over seven million dollars, which is an all time record. Add is parking revenue, food and merchandise and you can make the argument that Schiano is underpaid. By, the way I am still waiting for an English professor to bring this much money into the university.

  3. Alum from the Banks says:

    Hinson, the point of an English professor or any professor is not to make money. It’s to teach and research. They are to inspire students to become thinking people, better citizens, better humans (hence, humanities).

    No major part of the university is set up like a regular business except Big-Time Athletics (and they are constantly deep in the red). Even the the University Foundation does their work as fund raising, there are no goods or services exchanged in the traditional business sense.

    The job of academics does not include worrying about a bottom line or profit margin. Of course money is needed for anything to thrive, but if Rutgers pursues Athletics as a profit engine, then it the engine has failed. No profits, lots of debt.

    If Rutgers pursues Athletics as a marketing tool, it is marketing a school that has suffered and strained under lack of funds.

    And you are 4 years off on the English Prof. comment. The department head brought in $1 million in the form of a Mellon Grant in 2004. That is aside from his responsibilities as an instructor, administrator and other fund raising the department does:

  4. Dan Grant says:

    It may be that the fate of Rutgers as a top rated PUBLIC school is now in the hand of the current students. It is obvious that neither the Legislature or the administration is interested in doing anything about these scandals. I come from a different generation who came of age in the sixties and believed in action and protest to right wrongs. Is this current generation up to the same kinds of protests we engaged in? I haven’t seen it yet but somewhere beneath the “Me First” attitude has got to be the same social consience that drove so many of us then. You just have to let it out. This is a state school givng opportunity to students of more modest means then you generally find at the Ivy’s. It is time for students to start realizing what is at stake here for middle income people who want a better life through education

  5. carmine says:

    “the point of an English professor or any professor is not to make money. It’s to teach and research. They are to inspire students to become thinking people, better citizens, better humans (hence, humanities).”

    That statement is so far off the mark, I am not surprised that it came from someone in the English Department. At every school I attended, professors were out identifying grants and donations to support their area of expertise and the univeristy as a whole. The arrogance of a professor (or more likely a starry eyed graduate student in this case) to proclaim that they do not need to support their school by helping raise funds is exactly the problem with Rutgers 1000 and the university as a whole. There is a large sense of “entitlement” from the unionized faculty, as if they are owed something because they have Ph.D after their name. In the real world, people earn their keep and are not glorified bureaucrats with lifetime jobs. If you want to improve Rutgers, get off your duff and start raising money. Citing a four year old grant is hardly proof that English or Political Science or Gender Studies is doing any fundraising. I am an honors graduate of Rutgers and never once in the past four decades has a professor ever called upon me in support of the school. Not once. I speak to professors from my other schools regularly and am kept abreast of their research and that of their colleagues. At least Schiano and Mulchahy are raising funds, putting a product on the field that is fun to watch, and generating income for the university. The rest of you folks collect a paycheck and whine that it is not big enough.

  6. Alum from the Banks says:

    Academics is not a capitalist venture. Profitability is not the basis of education. Thinking of education as a “product” like football entertainment marginalizes it to a point where Rutgers might as well become an extension of the University of Phoenix Online. I do agree with you about some of the fund raising issue and think that the Rutgers Telefund is out-moded, but that is tangential to the argument. And yes, you are right that perhaps administrators should reexamine the tenure system (another separate debate), but how does that change the argument that academics should be at the center of an academic institution?

    Of course, looking for outside funding is important and I only quoted the largest one in recent years in specifically English for the above comment.

    And yes, there is a sense of entitlement from faculty members, and with good reason: You can’t have a university without faculty. If the whole stadium fell into a sinkhole tomorrow, classes would still open in the fall.

    Don’t be fooled by the idea that football is “generating income.” It has always lost more than it has spent since entering the Big East. Now the football team wants to borrow $70 million more? Of course Schiano has been doing plenty of whining himself about paychecks and secret contract opt-outs and houses and helicopter rides–this after one good and one mediocre season. I think its fair for students to whine about decrepit buildings and poor infrastructure when the university wants to continue the luxurious spending on football facilities.

  7. cody says:

    When has the football team produced enough revenue to cover the costs generated. The simple answer is never.

    Here is a quote from McCormick:
    McCormick, the Rutgers president, made it clear to The Bergen Record he doesn’t share Mulcahy’s vision of the football program becoming a money-making machine in five short years.

    “Bob says five years? Good luck,” said McCormick. “We’re not doing this to make money.”

    This was in 2006 and the amount to cover all costs associated with football has obviously ballooned since then.

    They were hoping any increase in revenue would cover the bonds over 30 years so they have already spent that revenue )if it materializes) plus some. Now that the $30 million in private donations they were hoping the governor could spearhead will not materialize, they have big problems. Add to this they are running into cost overruns and they are behind schedule and the problem is getting larger.

    Here is some additional background.
    Take note of quotes by various officials:
    The Rev. M. William Howard, chairman of Rutgers’ board of governors, acknowledged the university may need to take on most of the cost itself because the fundraising campaign is falling short.

    “There’s only a certain amount of money to go around,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “It’s time for a time-out here. It’s time for President McCormick and Bob Mulcahy to stand before a group — the press, the Legislature, the board of governors — to explain what the dilemma is, and what their decisions are. I hate to say this, but they are destroying any kind of trust relationship they have with me and the Legislature as a whole.”

    Now add this. Al Gamper was appointed to the committee to look into all this by President McCormick. The same Gamper that walked all over the people trying to save the sports which were cut. The same Gamper that refused to allow any transparency about the process and limited debate since the decision was final before any public hearings. The same Gamper who shares the same vision that McCormick and Mulcahy have pushed? Here is a quote:

    “There is a grand plan here,” said board member Al Gamper. “We are emphasizing our revenue sports at the university — football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball … with low interest rates and a construction slowdown, the timing, I think, is good.”

    So this is what Rutgers might consider an independent committee.

    And it all started by eliminating Olympic sports and 153 student athletes that had outstanding academic records. McCormick and Mulcahy must be proud.

  8. Tom Dockery says:

    Don’t blame the football team for the losses.Put the blame where it belongs:on Title IX or The Lesbian Promotion Act of 1972.

  9. Rutgers Law Student says:

    My father, a Rutgers-Newark alum, clued me in to this blog some hours ago. I thought that perhaps I could get a better understanding of the current situation here. Perhaps some deeper analysis, and some thoughtful suggestions regarding strategies for improving Rutgers’ standing in BOTH the academic and athletic categories. I’ve spent the last couple of hours reading through many of the archives and recent posts, as well as other articles and essays regarding the Rutgers 1000, and with the exception of some guest blogs, I’ve come away extremely disheartened.

    I must disclose that I fancy myself an academic AND a sports freak. According to this blog I’m something of a rarity. (Thank the lord. Who wants to be the same as everyone else. But I digress.) My point is, since the emergence of the Rutgers 1000, the issues of plummeting Rutgers budgets, academic standings and athletic standings have degenerated into a pissing contest between sports nuts who delude themselves into thinking that most college sports programs across the nation pay for themselves, and academic elites who delude themselves into thinking that most college academic programs exist in a vaccuum outside the financial constraints of markets.

    One would think that a blog dedicated to an institution of higher learning would actually be erudite, complete with cutting-edge commentary concerning the state of public universities in general, and the issues of evolving academic and sports programs throughout the country with ever-decreasing budgets. Perhaps some focus on extrepreneurship in academia, and the science of marketing brain-power. Or something. No such luck.

    Here is one ‘disclaimer’: “Student athletes really do exist. They have existed at Rutgers since the first football game in 1869 against Princeton. They still do exist on campus, participating in track, rugby, swimming, crew, etc. The difference is that they are real students. They participate the same way a student would join a musical ensemble or a publication and in many cases they are some of the busiest students on campus. This is because they have real majors and course loads like Chemistry, Political Science, and Economics, unlike the vast majority of D-I football and basketball players who all too often are enrolled in the easiest programs possible in order to simply keep them eligible to play. Yes, there are a very small handful of football and basketball players that manage time to be real students, but these exceptional ones are an increasing rarity.”

    I mean, I understand that y’all don’t think Kinesiology is up there, with, let’s say, Comparative Languages, but I wonder if someone could point me to the official ‘Hierarchy of Academic Programs,’ or some such research project that definitively ranks the quality of collegiate athletes (including the dumb ones).

    There’s so much bubkus embedded in “. . .real majors and course loads like Chemistry, Political Science, and Economics. . .” I don’t know where to begin. Has anyone noticed the difference between, let’s say, a Philosophy course-load and a Physics course-load. No? How ’bout the difference between an English Lit master’s degree, and an MBA? Can you name the last English graduate student who not only had to start their own business to pull that ‘A’, but had to empirically show that such a business could make a certain percentage of money over 5 years…10 years…15…I mean, maybe I was a Physics and English double-major at Rutgers College in the early 90s. Does that make me special (or crazy) or entitled to more state funding? Is no else repulsed by this rabid judgmental BS?

    How disgusting, and disturbing to know that the Rutgers 1000 is not about real debate or real solutions to the problems ailing Rutgers, or many universities all over the world for that matter, but it’s about back-patting and blood-sucking. And it reminds me, in quality, of the performance of the Rutgers administration over the past 10-15 years; or the Board of Governors’ performance, etc.

    Yes, don’t get me wrong. The Rutgers administration, its athletic department, hell, the whole collegiate-athletic-marketing-amateur-sports-farm-complex, operates in a much-less-than-wholesome world, filled with schemes to take advantage of the less advantaged, and PR people to spin this wheel (of mostly misfortune) into some ‘Wide World of Sports Fantasy,’ where every college QB gives back to the community, loves their grandma, and chews their pencil while trying hard to pass that test…Yes, it’s mostly smoke-and-mirrors. But it’s a hell-of-alot more complicated than most contributors to this blog actually seem to blog about.

    Unfortunately, this blog is no place for rigorous debate regarding the fate of Rutgers University. It’s a collection of “I told you so’s” and “See, they’RE BAD” and “Oh, this is what they said and did” or worse, “Smell that? It’s Rutgers’ blood running redder than ever…and it makes me gleeful…!” May the universe help us if these are the people responsible for ‘making things better’, and their “About page” is their idea of a grand vision, supported by the ‘sensitivity’ of their “Before Posting Comments” page. Ugh.

    Then again, there might be nothing more inspiring then this blog, if by inspiring you mean calling people to action to make sure the shouting match between Rutgers 1000-ites and greedy boosters doesn’t run rough-shod over the future of our university. You can spot a person of integrity when you show them the short-comings of others and see whether they clap or cry…

  10. cody says:

    Rutgers Law student

    Most are probably looking at this through different lenses. I don’t know if you knew about the effort involved trying to save the 6 Olympic sports that were cut back in 2006 so more $$ would be diverted to football, maybe you were also engaged in this effort, but it was pointed out that (in 2006) the savings would not materialize for reasons that now seem to be coming to light.

    I also like football but when you talk about ever decreasing sports budgets that is not the case here. The athletic budget has been increasing.

    The 6 Olympic sports cut, about 150+ student athletes had the highest academic accomplishments in the athletic program and they were not at Rutgers to take easy courses just to play sports.

    The decision to cut these sports was done in secrecy and announced after a BOG meeting. The BOG and Mulcahy did want to hear about the academic accomplishments, how the savings would not materialize, their minds were made up only to watch millions more being added to the football program. Don’t get me wrong I don’t blame the kids playing football but Mulcahy and others who really only care about a few sports with no regard to the accomplishments off the field have mismanaged this from the start. Academics were meaningless to Mulcahy because he cut the best.

    The only way to change this mindset is to change the people, if that is even possible. The argument that football will pay for itself is not true, never has, never will. The mindset now, and has been to pour more $$ into football at the expense of other sports and who knows what else. The 6 cut sports combined had a cost of less than 6% of what football alone costs, probably much less if compared to the present, and they are gone forever, sports which produced Olympians over their history, not to mention the success stories in the business world. Gone forever because of the mentality at the top.

    Many may agree with this vision, but looking at it since the day they cut the sports and all the different stories that were put out to stop/ignore the movement to save them leads to no surprise as to what the media is uncovering now and the lack of transparency. Regardless of what is finally written, top management at Rutgers has mismanaged the situation since 2006.

    It will be interesting to see if the BOG moves forward with phase II knowing they may have to foot the bill for an additional 20-30m they were hoping to get in private donations. I also would not be surprised to see more Olympic sports put on the chopping block in the future to support any addtional costs required by the football program.

    We hear over and over how football is going or is bringing in millions to rutgers yet the effort to raise the money to fund part of the stadium has collapsed. One question is how are they attributing the success of football being responsible for the donations at Rutgers yet the fundraising drive specifically for football has collapsed. Doesn’t add up, where is the transparency or are people just making these statements because it sounds good? Probably will never know the answer.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s Go Rutgers!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. rufool says:

    I love football but I despise Mulcahey and Schiano for what they’ve done with the stadium expansion indebtedness based on one decent season. Why the rush to expand the stadium when the current stadium meets our needs? Anyone who has taken bids on a home project understands that the estimate is always low because there are cost over runs all of the time. What about parking and entrance and egress from the stadium? The road situation can’t support the current stadium capacity now. Add another 13k and it’s a nightmare. Has anyone thought this through? Here’s my suggestion: allow Mulcahey to retire, hire a new AD and let him hire a new coach or Let Mulcahey retire, hire a new AD and become a mid-major program and continue as we are with no talk of National Championships or stadium expansion. This program is an embarresment and a disgrace.

  13. grad student says:

    I am an underpaid international PhD student in one of the engineering departments from which I will graduate (hopefully) soon. Although I said it as if it is important, I don’t give that much damn about being “underpaid” and I don’t ask for half of football coach’s salary to be divided equally between all GA/TA’s (but man, that would be a relief!) or any other actions that will reduce the money spent on sports. My only concern is my research, variety and richness of resources that I can access. I don’t even ask for a reasonable office with windows so that I will know it is raining before I go out from the building, or proper air conditioning that will not make me sick because of extreme high temperatures in winter, or icy cold deep freezer environment in summer that cannot be adjusted due to the age and technology of the equipment. My desk and my computer is enough. In brief, I am very modest and expecting the least from my university.

    My only concerns are slight increase in university rankings and academic reputation of the school so that I may be hired by universities that I have heard the names before. If that does not happen, that’s still fine, because reputation is not something that you can buy from and related to what I (and the others in the university) produce as well. At the end, companies will not hire according to the football team’s ranking but the academic reputation, so I have to do my marginal part to reach the level, so that people coming Rutgers for the new stadium can also have better chances when they graduate.

    But to do what I ought to do, AT LEAST, I would like to be able to download academic papers from Rutgers Libraries online directly, instead of trying to catch my friends from other universities (no need to mention names, their football team is not even ranked) online at various IM tools to ask for journals that Rutgers used to have access, but do not have anymore.

    I was complaining until very recently. However, solution is very simple, of course, thanks to our university administration for showing the way: WE HAVE THE HARD COPY VERSIONS AVAILABLE AT THE LIBRARIES!! How lazy I am… I want to download a paper in few seconds and understand whether it is what I am looking for and continue searching for more. Hey! I can do the same by going to a library, spend hours to go over the journals and papers trying to locate what I really need.

    For only couple of hours more, what the hell, right? Couple of hours more so that our university administration can spend more hours to find out more funding opportunities for the stadium (I am sure it will finance itself, no doubts!), instead of spending their precious time to find some funds to provide access to online resources (at least recovering the ones that are cut) so that a lazy grad student will save approximately 1-2 days per week. We are a research university, so we must research it by all means, with all pains, walking in between the aisles, hoping on&off buses to reach to the sources, get wet under the rain… so that university will fulfill its mission, right?

    I really pity myself for my lazy nature, which I happen to understand lately, and I want everybody reading this blog to support our university administration showing their academic excellence priority in a crystal clear fashion, working hard to find funding for the stadium and giving so much to make our university’s name known “worldwide” with its football team, so that everybody in the nation will distinguish the university Rutgers and the cartoon Rugrats without a moment of hesitation.

    As clearly stated in the Rutgers website, Rutgers is “one of the nation’s leading public research universities”. Read it again and think once more: Even without the proper academic resources! I cannot even think of how our reputation will be after the stadium is completed and our football team has 4 wins in a row. That is beyond my imagination…

  14. Greg Miller says:

    Your group has been so far off the mark for years. While you have held back Rutgers other athletic and academic minded schools have moved well up the ladder surpassing RU. MY daughter graduated Cum Laude from RU and I have always supported the school. I was accepted but chose to go to William & Mary. Both schools suffer from myopia. When I went to W&M it was rated well above UVA. Ralpha Sampson and football success and my school, previously in the top 25, like RU is struggling to stay in the top 50. uva has moved into the top 10. In the 70’s RU was well ahead of Penn State in all academic ratings. The selfishness and vindictiveness of the 1000 resulted in the school falling well behind in any school rankings. Don’t you understand that providing a quality experience and the publicity gained with athletic success begets academic success. Wake up before we move from top 25 (when I wasaccepted) to top 50 (currently) to top 100.

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