Rutgers Athletics is a Huge Financial Failure
Rutgers athletics continues to be a humongous failure, at least from a revenue perspective.
When Rutgers left the Big East for the Big Ten in 2014, school officials called it a "transformative event" and predicted a financial windfall that would benefit all students.
Six years later, Rutgers athletics remains one of the biggest drains on the university's finances.
In the midst of a pandemic, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said the school was facing "the most significant and substantial shortfall in the university's history" and announced 6,000 workers had been furloughed and senior administrators took voluntarily pay cuts.
Yet spending on athletics hit a record high, outpacing actual revenue almost 3-to-1.
According to documents filed by the university to the NCAA, and reported by USA Today, Rutgers spent $118 million on athletics, yet generated only $45 million in revenue.
Students and taxpayers are on the hook for covering a $73 million deficit.
Nearly 30,000 students have already been assessed a $400 "athletics fee."
As a member of the Big Ten, Rutgers is part of one of the wealthiest sports leagues in the nation, but it has not been the windfall that was promised.
The university ranks last or near the bottom in several fiscal categories, including donation from alumni and ticket sales.
Rutgers also supplements its athletic department to a greater degree than another other conference member, siphoning off funding that could go to educational priorities.
Despite the pandemic belt tightening touted by Holloway, lavish spending by the athletics department has continued.
The student newspaper's review of purchasing orders showed that expenditures by the Athletic Department during fiscal year 2021 increased by 13% over the previous year.
Among the athletic department expenditures during that period discovered by The Daily Targum:
- $24,000 for upgrades to the football coaches offices including a $3,100 television
- $12,400 on a "power nap" machine
- $4,692 for 10 later pointer remotes for football coaches
- $4,400 for car service on June 14, 2020 for a track athlete
The most recent report filed with the NCAA also details a sharp increase in coaches salaries, up $4.6 million to $25.5 million.
Holloway has said the current situation is "unsustainable," but has not indicated what corrective measures will be taken.