Piling on Rutgers: Welcome to the Bottom 10

September 24, 2008

The media are in a mad dash to stomp the Mulcahy-McCormick-Schiano delusions into shards, and rightly so.  Those Three Stooges have gone far in bringing Rutgers to ruination.  But their end is nearing, as it becomes ever clearer that there will be no Phase 2 stadium expansion and the only real question left to ask is: who will be stuck paying Greedy Greg Schiano’s $2 million pay for the next decade?  Yeechh.

Feast on the negative media.

The main course: Rutgers yet again makes ESPN’s infamous “Bottom 10” football teams (in the #8 slot). Writes ESPN: “our pals from Piscataway have always had that Bottom 10 Verve. Welcome back. “

For more funereal news from ESPN, read “The Fall of the House of Rutgers,” a piece that zeroes in on Greedy Greg Schiano’s nonsensical doublespeak and also looks at the myth of “family” on the Rutgers team despite the Mike Teel punch seen ’round the world. –”In the locker room afterward, the Scarlet Knights players and coach repeatedly referred to the incident as something ‘in the family.’ If that’s the case, there’s no doubting that this is one seriously dysfunctional family.”

Memo to the early 2009 “verbal commits” to Greedy Greg’s “program;”  Listen here.  Stay committed if you like it.  If you don’t…you can break that oral agreement with a single word, nope.  Go with our best wishes.

The Star Ledger, meantime, explores the blogosphere’s coverage of the Teel punch here – and the piece references this blog too.

The Ledger cartoonist Sheneman skewers Schiano here

Oh, for another chuckle, check out the misspelled Jerseys worn by “Rutgres” players at the Navy game here.  Not only can’t Mulcahy function as a proper AD, he obviously cannot spell.  It stretches the imagination to see a “major” football team playing in uniforms with the school name misspelled.  Go Mulcahy!!!  Or should we type Mulcahey??

The Asbury Park Press weighs in with an editorial attacking McCormick and Rutgers: “Not helping the state university’s growing reputation for putting football before academics is the revelation in Sunday’s Star-Ledger that the state quietly has funneled $2.25 million over four years directly to the football program and athletic department. That money was tacked onto the state budget without public scrutiny.”

The APP continues: “Perhaps the biggest fumble in the decision-making at Rutgers during the last few years was to overreact to one winning season by continuing to pour the school’s resources into the football program while cutting back on staff and courses, eliminating other sports teams and boosting tuition. For that, McCormick and Rutgers trustees who allowed this to go on — and the state’s legislators who quietly channeled more money to the football program — deserve a big Bronx cheer.”

Our favorite, though, is the Daily Record’s editorial, Christmas at Rutgers: “It’s a shame money is not translating into wins for the Rutgers University football team. On the field, the Scarlet Knights at 0-3 are a major disappointment.

But off the field, money keeps on pouring in to the program. First, there was a $250,000 payment to coach Greg Schiano from a marketing firm that was undisclosed until reported by the press. Now, it surfaces that the state Legislature has given the university’s athletic department about $2.25 million in grants or so-called Christmas Tree items, over the last four or five years.”


Every dollar Mulcahy III touches is a dollar wasted.  That much is plain because his stewardship of men’s basketball and football has transformed mediocre low-cost teams into bad, high-cost teams.  And the recognition has been cascading through Trenton like stink on a foggy night in Secaucus.  


Feast on the realities:

* The stadium expansion is RIP (only the formal announcement needs be made).

* Mulcahy is a walking dead man.  Only his “retirement” papers need be processed.

* Attendance at the Morgan State game won’t top 20,000.  The stadium will stand half empty in a silent mockery of the premature Mulcahy-McCormick expansion plans.

* McCormick, alas, continues to preside over the academic collapase of Rutgers.


Hail the Three Stooges, hail.


The blame multiplies

September 8, 2008

Even longtime Rutgers fan Home News & Tribune columnist Paul Franklin now has grumbles about how the monomaniacal pursuit of bigtime sports is leading the university astray.  He writes: I would be remiss if I did not go on record as saying WCTC program manager Bruce Johnson got the shaft when he was replaced as the voice of Rutgers basketball. A long-time loyal fan of the school, there was no need to pull the plug. None. Yet again our state university continues to pick on those who have shared their loyalty and been around campus for years. And that includes football patrons who are losing their long-time seating locations. Yes, those are the pitfalls of progress to the big-time, but it seems there could be just a little more compassion.

And Rutgers has jettisoned compassion for what?  That question stings because the answer is for nothing.  Rutgers is a desperately mediocre football team — #56 in the nation, eerily just below Texas A & M, the school Rutgers is tied with (at 64) in the US News & World Report rankings.  In The Trentonian, assistant sports editor Ben Doody puts some context around Rutgers and its Big East conference brethren: “The more I watch Big East teams embarrass themselves – and that’s happened now in consecutive weeks – the more I’m convinced that, with apologies to the ACC, the Big East is clearly the worst of the six BCS conferences.” Ouch.

Lastly, a reader wrote in with this tip:  “Little birdie has it that some certain parkers at Rutgers football games are getting preferential treatment. Check into it. One even had a parking cone reserving his spot. The old phone call and a wink,alive and well.”  The examples of Trentonization at Rutgers just keep mounting.

The good news of course is that as the Rutgers Season of Discontent plods forward — and fans abandon the Schianogate miseries — the parking situation will get a lot better.  Of course Rutgers losses on football will only deepen, which will mean more and bigger tuition hikes for Rutgers students.

“Blame it on McCormick”

September 4, 2008

That’s what this article says.  It goes on: “Many fans felt ill-will about the loss blaming the administration for the lack of a good football team.

Many are saying Rutger’s President Richard McCormick spent way too much on Stadium expansion. The stadium expanison was a $102 million stadium expansion project, which has increased the stadium’s seating capacity to nearly 56,000.

Some feel that the president should have spent it on Rutger’s team.”

We’re not sure we agree with any of that but we do find it funny because now Slick McCormick and Mulcahy III are getting blamed for the inadequacies of a football team that is inadequate as vividly demonstrated by the trouncing by Fresno State.

Even homer Tom Luicci in the Ledger dissed the program:

“Teddy Dellaganna was solid in his debut as Rutgers’ punter yesterday.

There. That pretty much covers all.

Well, except for the record Rutgers set: the fastest any team has ever deflated a promising season.”

Greedy Greg Schiano gets the third highest base pay in college football, per USA Today (sort by salary) and yet he is a coach with exactly one quality win in the past year.  About the only big win in recent memory has been at the bargaining table with Mulcahy III, who really oughtn’t leave house without a fool’s cap on his head.

Face it: Rutgers without Ray Rice is a very mediocre team that plays boring football.

Even rabid fans are ripping into Schiano; booster message boards have devolved into civil wars pitting the pro- and anti- sides in spitting contests.

ESPN’s Ivan Maisel has this to say: “Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano produced the sizzle, thanks to a 9-0 start in 2006. He has led the Scarlet Knights out of what had been a spectacularly unsuccessful existence….

Since that start in 2006, when Rutgers climbed to No. 7 in the polls, Schiano has been courted by Alabama, Miami and Michigan. And since that start, Rutgers’ record has been 10-8, including 1-5 against ranked teams. Those records include the 24-7 loss at home to Fresno State on Monday.”

Watch for worse.  This is a team and a coach that, experts agree, will come in 7th in the 8 team Big East.  And that is a $2 million man?  That is a product that warrants a $100+ million stadium expansion?  Investors in stadium bonds ought to ask Mulcahy III to throw in fool’s caps for them with purchase.  They will need the hat when the half-empty stadium goes belly up on the repayment plan.

In the Targum, alumnus Josh Ontell (onetime class president), writes: “big time athletics has bought Rutgers a whole lot of nothing. But the real shame is that the money wasted could have been used to improve Rutgers’ infrastructure or boost its miniscule academic budget. Rutgers has half a billion dollars in deferred maintenance. Staff members are being laid off. Eight hundred course sections were cut. It seems everywhere you look Rutgers is hemorrhaging cash. But we always seem to have enough money for the football program.”

Indeed, a little music for McCormick and Mulcahy to enjoy as their season of discontent worsens.

Now laugh at Sheneman’s skewering of RU leadership in this Thursday funny.

Remind us: did McCormick and Mulcahy III say anything about turning the school into a statewide laughingstock?

With them driving this bus, here is the ride we can expect.

Scrutinizing Rutgers Football

September 2, 2008

Now the AP has moved a story about the Schianogate scandals that threaten to destroy what little reputation Rutgers has left.  The reporter quotes Professor Wm. Dowling: “Rutgers is well on the way to becoming what students call a school of last resort,” said William C. Dowling, a professor of English. “That is death to a school of Rutgers’ history, stature and tradition. And sports have been entirely responsible for the damage.”

Ouch.  And it gets worse.  Dozens of newspapers across the country have picked up the AP story, where they read this: “critics note that Rutgers’ place in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings has been slipping. In the latest edition, it was 24th among public universities, down from 16th in 1998.”

Ouch again.  The more money that goes into football, the less is left for academics and the proof of that is in the steady rating decline during the Slick McCormick-Mulcahy III era of sports first.

Meantime, and despite the many millions spent on football, Rutgers opened its season yesterday with a loss characterized by clueless play and clueless coaching.  The Ledger’s Steve Politi nicely sums up how bad the afternoon was here.  He writes: “those $650 seats in the luxury suites might be landing on eBay in record numbers, because unless something changes, this season is going nowhere.”

McCormick and Mulcahy III repeatedly tell us bigtime football will bring good press to Rutgers.  Indeed.  Rutgers will kick itself in the morning.

As Paul Franklin wrote in Gannett, “This is a program that is supposed to be on the way up, a program that plans on buying so it no longer has to rent. The rent was due Monday. How embarrassing.”

Which brings us back to the reckless, foolhardy, stupid stadium expansion where another $100 million, give or take, apparently will be poured into building 14,000 new seats which no one will want. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, Rutgers Stadium will stand half-empty for the Army game as fan dissatisfaction erupts into booing and widespread rejection of an inferior sports product — albeit an expensive product that shows little payback.  As the elder Richard McCormick suggested to the New York Times 10 years ago, this is no place for small time college football. “Rutgers could have trouble making money on sports because of its location, said Richard McCormick, the university historian. With the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles nearby, New Jersey residents are less likely to attend college football games, he said.”

Meantime, Class of 1970 alumnus Doug Remer (a Florida reverend) has a poignant look at the cut Olympic sports in today’s Targum.  Read it for a glimpse of what Rutgers could be, should be.

“Codey’s an idiot,” et. al.

August 19, 2008

“Codey’s an idiot, and you can print that,” said Zoffinger. That’s the best line in this write-up about Zofflinger, by Mulcahy III publicist (oops, apparently he claims to be a journalist) Rick Malwitz. Certainly, we think Three Ring Codey is a flaming idiot as well as a poster boy for the Trenton culture of thuggery and theft that has transformed the Garden State into one big patronage pit. Codey is garbage with legs and, yes, Mr. Zofflinger, an idiot in the bargain.

Meantime, the GOP in Piscataway is pointing blaming fingers at the town’s Democratic mayor, claiming that passes he got that allowed entry into the Presidential box at Rutgers football games constitute a kind of payola. Our take on this: get real. We cannot imagine there exists a soul that desires to sup with Slick McCormick. The mayor may be bent, but his Presidential passes are no evidence of anything other than a willingness to waste autumn Saturdays with dreary company.

And then there is Fran Wood’s piece from 8-17, “Rutgers Shows Disrespect for the Public” (not online). Amen. Wood laments: “a lack of transparency has permeated the stadium project and the football
program in general.”

Wood adds: “In a recent oped in this paper, Rutgers athletic director Robert Mulcahy insisted stadium expansion is going just as planned. Others say that it is running behind, that they are rethinking future phases, and that a projected $30 million in public donations seems a pipe dream. Could it be that some of the prime movers still think we taxpayers can’t handle the truth?”

Indeed, because Mulcahy III also claims a chimerical $5 million profit earned by football in 2007 which is an outright lie. Let us see an audited p & l statement for Rutgers football. One that takes into account such things as a use fee for the stadium, grounds maintenance, gameday security — charge them all appropriately to football and what happens to the “profit?” Losses are the norm in Division I football and claiming Rutgers is in the black presupposes a very stupid audience (and, yes, we know the boosters have jumped on this and run it up their wobbly flag pole…but didn’t we say something about stupid?).

And there are closing thoughts from onetime Rutgers administrator Norman McNatt. Here is his letter to the New York Times:

To the Editor:

As a Rutgers alumnus and former administrator, I found your editorial both sad and enraging.

You correctly identify a failure of leadership at Rutgers and the shared responsibility of the State Legislature. But the failure reaches further than the president’s office, and the Legislature’s complicity has been compounded by its long-term neglect of the academic needs of Rutgers.

Two Rutgers presidents have essentially abdicated direction of athletics to athletics boosters on the boards of trustees and governors and to an athletic director obsessed by a chimera. Four of the nine members of the new athletics review committee set up by the university’s president, Richard L. McCormick, are current or former members of the Rutgers governing boards. The committee’s findings are all too predictable.

Rutgers, once a proud private university, was co-opted by the State of New Jersey in 1956 to become the state university. But the once-substantial public support promised for Rutgers has steadily fallen.

Big-time athletics, touted to offset financing cuts, has cost Rutgers its academic stature. Twenty years ago, six graduate programs were ranked in the top 10 nationally. Today, only one is in that distinguished company.

Norman McNatt
Princeton Junction, N.J.

Rutgers: The Mediocrities Multiply

July 29, 2008

Way to go, Mulcahy III and Greedy Greg Schiano — Big East beat writers peg the Scarlet Knights to finish 4th in the conference. Of course it is only an 8 team conference. Is this what pouring millions and millions of dollars into “bigtime” football buys you? What a disgrace. These clowns cannot even deliver on the football promise. So Rutgers now has mediocre — and deteriorating — academics and expensive but mediocre football. No wonder the state is investigating Schianogate and the rest of the inexplicable actions by Rutgers leadership.

Meantime, Slick McCormick — seeing his job blowing up in front of his eyes announced the emergency appointment of a “special committee” to investigate the financial practices of the athletic department and its leader, Trenton hack Mulcahy III. Legendary jocksniffer Al Gamper, former chairman and current member of the Rutgers governing board, is on the panel but the bulk of the membership of the committee is TBA, mainly because who would want to step into this particular pile? Mulcahy III, are you hearing footsteps yet? Somewhere there’s a big clock ticking away the minutes you have left in your job.

Keep in mind that Mulcahy III has insisted on throwing millions at Greedy Greg Schiano, a coach with a lifetime losing record and with so few quality wins you can count them on one hand and still have fingers left free to pop open another beer.

Schiano’s skill may be simple sophistry, at the very least he has a peculiar take on accountability and ethics. In a q & a posted on MyCentralJersey.com, Schiano was asked about defensive tackle Justin Francis, who was arrested last spring for robbery. At the time of arrest, with great fanfare, Schiano said Francis was suspended from the team. But hold on. Now Schiano says: “What I did when this all went down is I decided that Justin, regardless of what happens will be suspended for the season from competition. From that point on, I needed to wait until the legal system plays out. And I did, but from early on Justin and I talked and he was very forthright with me and I just made a decision that this is what needed to be done.

“So in the interim, at some point in his career he was going to need to have his shoulder fixed. So before we knew what we going to happened, he got his shoulder fixed. So he’ll be with us, but he won’t be eligible to compete by my edict.”

So…the kid is taking a medical redshirt year off…which he needs to repair his shoulder…and, somehow, Schiano thinks this can be spun as discipline? Hey, Greg, if the coaching thing doesn’t work out for you, don’t expect a job in the philosophy department, hear.

But Mulcahy III can top Schiano’s rhetorical flourish, sort of. The best line from today is in the Ledger piece: “Mulcahy could not immediately be reached for comment.” Do you think he’s out scouting retirement property in Florida? That we don’t know, but we do know McCormick soon will be handing him the gold watch…probably at midnight in a Piscataway mini-mall parking lot.

Oh…and here’s a little music — and a little more — for Gamper and his jocksniffing cronies to enjoy as they go about their work on McCormick’s small joke of a committee.

Rutgers in the Press: More Bad News

July 28, 2008

Way to go, Mulcahy III, the nation’s press keeps writing about Rutgers — even the AP just moved a big story on the national wire — but the bad news is how bad this coverage is. The AP story, for instance, cites Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, chairman of the Assembly’s higher education committee, pondering exactly how much damage to academics will be inflicted by the reckless and stupid stadium expansion caper.

The AP story also ponders exactly how Mulcahy III can keep insisting the fundraising is going along swell when the prime players — Seatbelt Corzine and Elizabeth Ray Lesniak — have both admitted the search for $30 million in private contributions for the stadium is DOA.

Even the Chronicle of Higher Education now has covered this embarrassing story, so word of Mulcahy III”s folly is cascading across the college scene.

And nobody has a clue exactly what new math Mulcahy III is using when he insists all is cool with the stadium expansion — despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. What are you smoking, Mulcahy III?

Just seeing Mulcahy III puts one in mind of a line from The Departed: “bad haircut, no dress sense and an air of scumbag entitlement.”

Meantime, rumors are multiplying that the strong 2009 recruiting class assembled by Greg “Greedy” Schiano is beginning to fracture as the high school commits tumble to the realization that the Rutgers expansion will not happen, Greedy Schiano is all about me-me-me, and a Rutgers diploma just keeps getting more worthless with every day of bad news. Already highly rated recruit Desmond Scott has decommitted; watch for similar announcements in days to come.

As for how bad Rutgers has become, a report from the Center for Measuring University Performance tabs Rutgers as a dismal 54th in the country. The public ivy has become a common weed, as all pretense of academic excellence has been stomped into oblivion by the rutting jocksniffers who presently are in charge of the school. Make no mistake — the ineffectual push for bigtime sports has taken a huge toll on scholarship at Rutgers, as monies that had supported intellectual excellence (e.g., the Outstanding Scholars program) get wiped out in favor of putting more cash into sports. Do note what the university said: “Without state support for this program, the university is not able to support another new class of scholars.” But, apparently, it has a bottomless pit of money for football players on scholarship. Of course that makes it very, very hard to take any Rutgers’ claim revolving around intellect seriously.

And just when Schianogate is getting us down…there’s this cartoon from the Ledger’s Sheneman.

Well…Mulcahy III always insisted football would raise national awareness of Rutgers. Who knew he would be so right? Who knew Rutgers would become the punchline in so many jokes about greed, incompetence, and stupidly run universities? Who knew how swiftly a Rutgers degree could be debased? Mulcahy III you are indeed a man of your word…sort of.