It seems plain: Dick McCormick is a slow learner. Just as Rutgers now is mired in contretemps over the wanton waste of taxpayer dollars to fund lavish follies at bowl games — so exactly the same scenario played out at the University of Washington when McCormick was president. That triggered a state ethics investigation that prodded the university to spell out, in detail, who could swill from this particular pork barrel. Read the details in this Seattle Times story.
In that sorry case, the university even was forced to reimburse the state’s ethics board for the costs of the investigation.
Curiously enough, just as Rutgers has lost money on its bowl appearances, Washington managed to lose money on its 2000 Rose Bowl appearance: “The UW spent $1.45 million on the Rose Bowl trip, about $1.3 million of which was paid for by the Pacific-10 Conference, which invited the Huskies to the game,” according to the Seattle Times. Fancy that: money gets lost even on the biggest bowl appearances!
Those losses came because McCormick apparently invited his in-laws, many spouses, random politicos — and even picked up the tab for Disneyland visits. Talk about pirates of Puget Sound!
What is stopping Trenton? We need a full-on investigation of Rutgers’ wasteful and thoughtless expenditures in connection with all three money-losing bowl appearances — and we need an apology to the university’s students who will see classes canceled in the fall, classes that could have been held if the money hadn’t been squandered on football and bread and circuses for hangers-on.
And we need an apology to the state’s tax-payers who, ultimately, are picking up the tab for Mulcahy’s Folly. It’s time to halt this expensive and mindless pursuit of big-time sports. There just is no more public money to pour down that particular sinkhole.