At the very time that Trenton has been slashing tens of millions of dollars for academics at Rutgers, the state has — on the hush hush — directed around $2.5 million to Rutgers with the secret stash of cash earmarked for athletics, per today’s report by Margolin and Sherman in the Star Ledger.
This revelation comes amidst Slick McCormick’s continuing mea culpas about a lack of transparency in the stewardship of athletics — but the report came not as a result of a confession by McCormick but due to digging by the Ledger reporters. McCormick talks a good game of being open, but in practice he continues to hide, to deceive, and wouldn’t you if you had authorized pumping tens of millions of dollars into a laugher of a sports program and at the very time that Rutgers academics are crumbling (down five spots to #64 in US News & World reports in the last year alone)?
Write Margolin and Sherman:
“Direct state assistance to the university and its academic programs has been trimmed by more than $16.4 million over the past five years, according to the school.
‘I’m a big supporter of Rutgers athletics. I understand the need for money. But when tuition is going up 10 percent, you have to think twice before adding it to athletics,’ said state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), a member of the state Budget and Appropriations Committee.”
Stories about the athletic slush fund have spread nationally. UPI reports here. AP is here.
And what has all this state money bought? A wretched football team, so the laugh is on Trenton — and of course the laughs are even louder about the poor chumps who bought “luxury boxes.”
Even boosters are predicting that next Saturday’s game against Morgan State will play out before a half-empty stadium.
As Paul Franklin observes in the Gannett papers: “And so now the words of re grouping, of working harder, of not giving up, of being a family, all that continues to spoken.
So far, the bottom line is that none of those words are ringing true.
The truth right now is that Rutgers is not a good football team.”
We know the decision has been taken, now we are awaiting public announcement that the $100+ million stadium expansion has been canceled. Amidst the region’s economic meltdown, coupled with on-field performance that proves this is no coach and no program built for success, there will be no wait list, there will be no sell outs, there will only be epic losses as Rutgers is saddled with many more years at $2 million per on Greedy Greg Schiano’s contract. As the Ledger said of Schiano: “Just poor coaching there.” And we can thank the eternally clueless Mulcahy III for the tens of millions contractually obligated to the incompetent Schiano.
Sagarin now slots Rutgers at 85th in the nation, and Schiano’s Stumblers are closing in on Syracuse as worst in the Big East. Looking ahead, it is not inconceivable that Rutgers will win only one game (Morgan State)! Some showing for the tens of millions that have been pumped into the program by lifelong Trenton hack Mulcahy (an expert, apparently, in pork barrel politics but certainly not about sport).
Mulcahy, incidentally, will be fired before the school year finishes. We already hear the vultures flapping for carrion above his office. The only successful athletic program at Rutgers is women’s basketball — which was successful long before Mulcahy arrived on the Banks and will be successful after he leaves. He has had nothing whatsoever to do with that. The programs he has touched — men’s basketball and football — are expensive jokes where the laughs are on Rutgers students and NJ taxpayers who are stuck with ever higher bills. That realization has recently been sweeping through Trenton and, for Mulcahy, the clock ticks ever louder towards his personal doomsday.
If you missed it…yesterday’s loss to Navy was punctuated when qb Mike Teel took a swing at another Rutgers player. Watch the punch here. Love that sportsmanship and how Rutgers is presented to a national audience! Tune into the post-game rationalizing here, as Schiano, Teel, et. al. insist “we are a family.” So, incidentally, are the folks in August: Osage County.
Schiano has refused to suspend Teel, per MyCentralJersey.com — “In my eyes, it could be a great teaching opportunity, as what not to do when frustration sets in and bubbles over,” Schiano said. “But Mike has apologized for what he did. There’s no excuse for what Mike did. It was inappropriate behavior and not something I or my coaching staff condones. But to make that the reason (to suspend Teel) doesn’t make sense. We’re a close-knit group and it was just an event that bubbled over.
As a poster writes on the NJ.com message board: “We do admit that watching the travails of this loser coach and his loser program is giving us more mirth than we had hoped for. Schiano is the perfect incompetent to match the incompetence of Mulcahy and McCormick. The Three Stooges of Piscataway, Perfect Together.”
Another poster observes: “Mulcahy ought to rename the team the Rutgers Unicorns for all the other fantasies he’d have you believe.”
A third poster claims to see striking parallels between Schiano and G W Bush — “One gives us financial armageddon. The other gives us football armageddon….But at least Bush is not being paid $2 million dollars a year.”
We ain’t got teachers, we ain’t got classrooms, but at least we still have our fans!
For closing thoughts, we like Dan Spitzer’s in MyCentralJersey.com: As Rutgers football once again begins its descent into the abyss of mediocrity, and the well-to-do folks who are waging class warfare on the rest of us choke on their penne pasta and top-shelf liquors in disgust of the obvious embarrassment of watching the three “wise” men lead Rutgers into oblivion, I would like to paraphrase Bob Dylan by asking: “After they took from you everything . . . they could steal . . . how does it feel?”