OT: The Money Pit that is Rutgers Football

Submitted by M2NASA on May 3rd, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Bloomberg Article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-03/rutgers-football-fails-profit-…

"Rutgers gave $28.5 million from the university budget and student fees to sports during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. That worked out to almost $1,000 a student. It was the largest amount among 54 public institutions in the six main organizations that compete in college football’s Bowl Championship Series: the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences. The findings are based on annual reports by the universities to the National Collegiate Athletic Association that were obtained by Bloomberg through open-records requests."



May 3rd, 2012 at 10:15 PM ^

Wow.  I would be PISSED if I was a student at Rutgers paying my own way, working jobs after classes, skimping on everyday needs, just to pay $1,000 to provide full scholarships to field hockey players and wrestlers.

Space Coyote

May 3rd, 2012 at 10:21 PM ^

This is money going to all athletics, not just football.  The author is clearly trying to hammer the institution of college football, and maybe Rutgers football is far from making a debt, but the way he titles his article and then looking at the numbers, it is clear what he is trying to do, which is part of the reason for media backlash.

Stupid headline.  I also see he doesn't count how much some athletic departments are giving back to the universities.  I guess I'm not surprised by that, though it happens at numerous universities (not saying they always give back more than they take, but this is clearly only counting what is taken).

Also, while $1000 is way higher than it should be, even for all athletics, I don't think people realize the full impact athletics has on schools.  It is money going to recruiting, pride, and entertainment for the students and alumni.  So, again, while $1000 is way too high, the smaller sums that most students are giving at other universities isn't just going to "silly sports".


May 3rd, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

Did you go to Rutgers?

The whole reason the athletic department is a disaster is because of the dumbass investments that they've made into the stadium and the rest of the football program.

This isn't because of field hockey or the basketball program that plays in a glorified Soviet-era high school gym.

edit: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/despite_success_on_the_field_b…

Space Coyote

May 3rd, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

But the theme of the article is trying to bash all of college football.  Also, I promise that the other athletic teams are losing money as well, and probably just as much as football when you combine them.

I didn't go to Rutgers and obviously they are doing something very wrong when you look at the amount of money they lost (almost double the next university).  I'm just saying that the author is purposefully attempting to mislead people into thinking this is a majority football problem for many schools, when in reality football keeps most ADs afloat.

The first thing readers will do is read the headline and then look at the plot and note the it is money lost per university.  Based on that they will lead to believe it's a football problem for universities.  The title and plot are misleading (doesn't label his plot well).  Even if what you are saying is true, and I have no doubt that it is, it doesn't mean that the author isn't attempting to generate views by misleading people.


May 4th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

for a handful of schools. We're lucky that UM is one of them, but that doesn't help Rutgers. As a New Jersey kid whose mom taught at Rutgers, I can tell you that there is plenty of bitterness at the way football has been handled there. Someone mentioned that fball brings entertainment--no doubt. But those kids BUY tickets on top of that huge piece of their fees.

I love football, and no one here is calling for its execution, but it's also highly problematic. I appreciate that people here are willing to assess it candidly, instead of with rahrah knee jerk reactions. 


May 3rd, 2012 at 10:27 PM ^

I thought our AD was completely self-funded.  So what's the deal with the graphic showing a wee tiny amount of university support?


May 3rd, 2012 at 10:34 PM ^

I could be wrong (I don't have any source or link or anything), but I think there's some legal something or other that requires the university to fund the AD a certain small amount. The AD, in turn, kicks back that amount and more back to the university later, but something about in order for the AD to be a subdivision of the university, it has to receive some financial support.

Or I totally full of it, and have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.


May 4th, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

Maybe I'm confused, but I'm not sure what you're referring to with the AD "kicking back" money to the University.  The University of Michigan and the AD are wholely separate entities--a relationship equivalent to the Government and the Post Office.  The AD keeps the money it makes in its own budget, and the University the same.  The two don't blend funds whatsoever. I think the below poster is correct about the 300k being DB's

Mattisons Moxy

May 3rd, 2012 at 10:48 PM ^

I believe that 300K we see for Michigan is Dave Brandon's salary. In order for it to be considered a part of the University, the AD must be employed by the University - aka the University contributes to the Athletic Department. It looks like this graph does not take into account any contributions the Athletic Department makes back to the University.


May 3rd, 2012 at 11:03 PM ^

The guys above could also be correct, but I'm pretty sure the University has to pay the bills for any academic expenses, like tutoring, using AD facilities for classes, and things of that nature.

As far as DB's salary, the University might pay some of it, but I do know the AD is an endowed position, so not all $300,000 is payed out by the administration.


May 3rd, 2012 at 10:49 PM ^

It's kind of surprising to see some schools running such large deficits.  For example, I have 2 daughers at Oklahoma State U.  With T Boone Pickens showering the athletic department with over $100 million in recent years (and a similar chunk to the academic side as well), it makes one wonder how they could be running a deficit.  Well a lot of it went into the newly renovated (and named) football stadium, which is not a bad investment, especially with someone giving you the money.  But then there are the really stupid fiscal moves like a high dollar long-term contract to the basketball coach and a gamble on expensive life insurance policies on high income elderly boosters.  Except none of the boosters died, leaving a huge outflow of cash ($33 million!) with no inflow on that "investment."



Pickens is reported to be the brain child of the insurance scheme, so maybe he'll cover the loss.  If not, I suspect next year's short fall will be a lot more than $5-6 million.


May 3rd, 2012 at 11:09 PM ^

Michigan is listed as paying out to the athletic department. We all know that M actually kicks quite a bit back to the university, way more than is paid to the AD. It may be at other schools there's a similar arrangement, but with much more money being paid out. For instance, at some schoos, all of the coaching staff may also be professors, in which case their entire pay may be paid by the univeristy. If so, that would may the payout number look a lot bigger, even though that money is certianly repayed by the athletic department.

Mattisons Moxy

May 3rd, 2012 at 11:39 PM ^

Another factor might be the details of Freedom of Information Laws in each state. A state like Michigan might release itemized details of all monetary exchanges in and out of the Athletic Department and the University. A state like Texas may only release a net transfer of funds - which I'd assume would be a positive contribution from the Athletic Dpt. to the University. In an effort to make the author's point, that contribution may be set to 0.

snarling wolverine

May 4th, 2012 at 8:22 AM ^

I'm surprised Wisconsin needs university support, given that Camp Randall is packed every year, as is (I believe) the Kohl Center.  Maybe some of this just comes down to how they do the bookkeeping.

Mr. Rager

May 4th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

isnt this chart a little misleading in some ways? mich one of 7 self funded programs, but our students pay approx $20/game. i know most schools the tickets are free. i wonder if that is included in this analysis (does not seem to be).


May 4th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

I work at a small, public D1 school and we just recently passed a student fee referendum.  We researched this A LOT.  Our fee covers more than just athletics.  It encompasses about six other on campus organizations as well.  Anyway, in our research we found that student fees at some institutions are pretty crazy.  I can't find an article I read a little over a month ago, but it compared all the Virginia state schools.  Longwood's student fee for athletics is over $2,000 a year.  There were either 5 or 6 other Virginia public schools that were over $1,000.