Monday, September 18, 2006

NYTimes on Rutgers football and Rutgers finances

Further to the post on Vai Sikahema criticizing Rutgers over spending money on football, one notes that the New York Times had an article Football Brightens Grim Year at Rutgers

Therein, the Times noted that Rutgers Prez Richard McCormick , prior to attending a football rally, had an "earlier public appearance that day. In a sobering speech to faculty and students, he outlined the university’s battered financial picture and the “gravest budget cuts” in the school’s history."

The Times also noted:

But for Rutgers officials there is no way to ignore those problems. After the state cut $66 million out of its $1.6 billion budget, Rutgers cancelled hundreds of classes and fired hundreds of workers. Facilities throughout the campus have been closed and tuition has been raised.

“There’s no denying the severity of the cuts or the painfulness of the decisions we have to make,” said Mr. McCormick.

The Times did allude to the issue Vai Sikahema raised:

Some have criticized the attention and resources given to football, particularly after Mr. McCormick announced that six athletic teams — including men’s tennis and crew — would be cut next year.

“I understand that the football team did very well last year, and I don’t advocate rolling it back, but holding its budget constant doesn’t seem to be outrageous when we’re laying off hundreds of people and cutting hundreds of classes,” said Dave Cole, the president of the undergraduate student body at Rutgers College.

Mr. McCormick, however, remains dedicated to the football team. That program, like all of his plans, he said, need his support when people least want to give it.

The Times did not mention what Sikahema pointed to: that Rutgers football lost $8 million last year.

One notes that the financial situation of Rutgers may explain, at least partially, the aggressive stance on the patent front, wherein Rutgers has sued Onstar and General Motors over a patent, the application for which was filed about ten years ago. [see earlier posts on IPBiz]

One IPBiz reader commented:

I don't know why people are blasting Rutgers football. Yes, they lost $8M.....
[IPBiz note: Vai Sikahema was criticizing the NEW expenditures (and cancellations) in LIGHT of the $8 million loss last year.]

But I'm literally SHOCKED, that "government employees" (ie, Rutgers
employees) would suddenly require something to be a "profit center". I
thought all gov. agencies were "loss leaders", almost by definition NOT
profit centers. (But of course, any gov. employee is sure HIS job is
just essential to society, even if it is not a profit center.) I'll
bet every dept on campus is a "loss leader"...and they want to pick on
football? [IPBiz note: Bayh-Dole has changed the "loss leader" picture, if such ever existed.]

Now, I'm all for picking on football, Div I competition, etc.
Football coaches should make no more than tenured faculty members, or the
woman's tennis team coach. [IPBiz note: according to Sikahema, Schiano is the highest paid state employee in New Jersey.] But for everyone to "pile on" against football, when they are in exactly the same boat, is just plain hypocritical.

Raise tuition & fees
Raise the overhead rate on grants
Join the real world.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Update on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006-->

The first page of the Newark Star-Ledger of Oct. 17 carries the center, above-the-fold, story headlined: Gaining Prestige One Yard At A Time and subheadlined, Rutgers' football success attracting national, fan, and corporate attention.

Some text from the Star-Ledger:

University officials are hoping the attention will bring with it increased prestige and donations --successes other schools have enjoyed when their athletes excelled on the national stage.

The unbeaten record --and the national ranking of 19th it delivered Sunday--appears to be good news amid bad. University officials hope it can help counteract a budget crisis they are facing, one that has led to 185 staff layoffs and the elimination of 451 classes.

Peter McPherson was quoted--
"A very successful football or basketball team... or any major visible sport creates public visibility for the university that's hard to match. It simply gets attention from a larger number of people than the most successful physics, chemistry, or outstanding literature program."

The article in the Star-Ledger did NOT mention the previous cancellation of other Rutgers sport programs to divert money to football. It's increasingly hard to find any mention of the August 2006 WCAU "Vai's View" op-ed (by Vai Sikahema) entitled "Rutgers is Wrong."

The article in the Star-Ledger does mention that sponsorship sales for the university's athletic department are expected to top $3 million, double what they were six years ago. The article in the Star-Ledger does NOT mention that the Rutgers football program LOST $8 million last year.

The football games against Louisville and West Virginia remain to be played.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Google absolutely is NOT indexing this post.

1:12 AM  

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