Rutgers historic ineptitude was inevitable

Submitted by McGreenB on November 8th, 2018 at 2:58 PM

I’m not arguing that Rutgers’ admission into the B1G was  a good move — it was unquestionably a mistake. However, that mistake is much more the result of the egregious contract given to them by the B1G than it is a foundational issue with Rutgers athletics. 

According to, from 2014-2020:

“The 11 established conference members (not counting other relative newcomers Maryland and Nebraska) will have pocketed $177 million more…than Rutgers.”

177 million over 6 years is huge.

Chris Ash makes 2 million a year and their OC and DC make a combined 1 million. Don Brown alone makes 1.6m..

Again, not defending Rutgers, but when you give a program the Treaty of Versailles you can’t expect them to be anything but dilapidated. A program builds on momentum and the B1G and Delaney did everything they could to stifle Rutgers’. 

Go blue! 57-3



November 8th, 2018 at 3:07 PM ^

1.  The idea that the Treaty of Versailles was some kind of shock to Germany is revisionist nonsense.  They agreed to the November 11 armistice terms, which were a precursor to the treaty.  They knew they would pay through the nose in any peace settlement, but they were desperate and wanted to head off a communist revolution.  The real problem - which the Nazis exploited - was the "stab in the back" legend that emerged after the war.

2.  Rutgers likewise fully knew the terms of Big Ten membership.  Even with the monetary disparity, they still are making way more than they were before.  


November 8th, 2018 at 3:21 PM ^

Obviously it wasn't a shock, they signed it. It was signed out of desperation .

I'd also argue that the rise of Nazism could only have occured under the circumstances of historic hyper inflation which was a direct result of the treaty .The stab in the back sentiment only fueled the already prevelant anti semitism existing in Germany. 


November 8th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

The other thing is that Belgium and northern France were totally devastated by the war. A century later, farmers there still find unexploded ordnance in their fields.  

Whoever lost the war was going to pay.  Everyone was resolved of that, which turned it into a brutal war of attrition. 


November 8th, 2018 at 3:34 PM ^

I'd also argue that the rise of Nazism could only have occured under the circumstances of historic hyper inflation

The hyperinflation occurred in 1921-23 and did not actually lead to much new support for the Nazis or other radical groups. It was the Great Depression a decade later that really shook things up and allowed them to emerge as a political force.

Mike Damone

November 8th, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Yes, at a measly $2M per year contract for their head coach, God forbid you expect him to put together at least a mediocre football team.

Other programs with smaller budgets have done, and continue to do, more with significantly less resources, poorer facilities and smaller alumni. 

This failure is on the Rutgers pathetic administration and management, and nobody else.


November 8th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

Since you note, it might worth seeing this post by one of their beat writers.

"ADDENDUM NO. 3: "Joining the Big Ten has led to increased spending on athletics, and that's a waste of money that does nothing to help the central mission of the university."

You know what the overall Rutgers budget was last school year? $4.4 billion. The athletics budget was $100 million. Not quite loose change in the sofa, but still, it's hardly impactful."


November 8th, 2018 at 3:17 PM ^

I think the same thing happened to Nebraska when they joined. Articles like this, even a year old, that just rehash old facts in an alarming way are among the laziest forms of journalism.


November 8th, 2018 at 3:18 PM ^

My impressions of Rutgers University is that they are more of a commuter school. A cross between a university and a community college. This may be right or wrong. Someone can set me straight if they wish.

Not really conducive to having a legitimate football program. RU is fighting with one hand tied behind their back along with having no recent football history. If that wasn't enough, having them compete in the East division says we are just here for the money.

The criticism shouldn't be directed at Rutgers but at the Big Ten institutions who I guess were talked into this by Delany. Rutgers in the Big Ten is the equivalent of the University of Detroit being admitted to the ACC for a Midwest imprint?


November 8th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

Rutgers-New Brunswick is a normal State University, and a fairly prestigious one at that, although not in Michigan’s league. Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark are separate campuses with separate admissions and separate academic programs. They are largely commuter schools, but certainly not community colleges (not only do they offer bachelors degrees, they have multiple graduate programs.) I don’t know if they have their own sports teams, though the players are all students at the New Brunswick campus.

4th and Go For It

November 8th, 2018 at 3:20 PM ^

I'd argue they've done it to themselves. Ash has a terrible record for the third straight year and he's still coaching there.

They add virtually nothing to the conference athletically or academically. $11M seems like too MUCH to be giving them. They're on pace for their 6th season in the last twenty years where they finished with 2 wins or less. The fact that they'll be scoring $50M+ in a couple years from the conference is utter garbage. 

B1G Winning

November 8th, 2018 at 3:22 PM ^

Rutger will never be a football powerhouse, and I don’t believe any amount of money will change that.

Their ceiling is firmly placed at maybe being a top 25-35 team every four years. Honestly, if I was on hard times I’d bet my house that Rutger will never win a B1G championship in our lifetime, let alone win the East division without a conference realignment. I have a feeling that if they did finally compete for the B1G, I’d likely be old enough to move into an assisted-living home.

The Mad Hatter

November 8th, 2018 at 3:28 PM ^

Rutger suffers from the same strain of delusion that MSU has.  They think they're better / more important than they ever were, both as a university and as football program.


4th and Go For It

November 8th, 2018 at 4:06 PM ^

A decent sized blip was all Schiano basically - he got there in 2001. Won 2, 1, 5, and 4 games his first four year there and finally got over .500 at 7-5 in his fifth year. Then he went nuts and got them to 11-2 behind Ray Rice having a great season in year 6 which was impressive. From there they went 9-4 and 8-5 a couple times with a 4-8 season mixed in before Schiano left. Kyle Flood had two seasons of 8+ wins and two season of 7+ losses. Ash then cratered them back to their usual 2-3 wins per year, which is basically where they were my entire life.


November 8th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

NY and NJ have lots of good players in their HSs (as we’ve learned to our benefit) and Schiano somehow managed to convince enough of them to go to Rutgers to put together a good team. There was a moment when I thought they might be able to get to, say, just below the Iowa/MSU level of performance (I.e., usually a winning program but rarely relevant for league championships) but then it turned out, as you say, to have been a Schiano blip. Flood did pretty well with Schiano’s players but could not keep the recruiting momentum going.


(Full disclosure: I grew up a Rutgers fan in the 80s and might still be a Rutgers fan if they were in the AAC. They’re an embarrassment to the Big 10, though, and I wish they would just go away. It sucks that Michigan has to play them every year and only occasionally gets to play Minnesota.)


November 8th, 2018 at 4:47 PM ^

Short answer: Greg Schiano, Ray Rice, and a weak conference.


Longerish answer:

2005 - 7-5, lost to WVU and Louisville by a combined 83-19, didn't play any other good teams IMO

2006 - 11-2, beat LU by 3, lost to WVU in 3OT (also lost at Cincinnati - MORK ALERT - 30-11). Didn't play any other good teams IMO

2007 - 8-5 (3-4 in conference) Lost at home to unranked Maryland and Cincinnati - PURPLE FACE ALERT. Beat South Florida when they were somehow top 2-3 in the country (pending your poll). Got boat raced by WVU and then at UCONN, also lost to LU at Papa John's. Didn't play any other good teams IMO

2008 - 8-5 (5-2) Lost 5 of 6 to start the year (Fresno State, North Carolina, Navy, WVU, Cinci - PURPLE FACE - with a win over Morgan Trent...err Morgan Fairchild....Morgan State sandwiched in there. Then won 7 in a year, at Heinz Field being the only impressive win.

2009 - 9-4 (3-4) Cupcakes included Howard, Florida International, at Maryland, Texas Southern, Army. Also beat South Florida and then UCF (in the St. Pete Bowl). Disappointingly, did not play Florida Atlantic. 1-1 against ranked teams - destroyed South Florida who ended up 8-5 (3-4), lost to WVU.

2010 - Last in the Big East 1-6 (4-8)

2011 - 9-4 (4-3) Played one ranked team all year, losing at home to WVU by 10.


Going through this exercise, it's really amazing how rarely Rutger played anyone good and how few road games the played. Their MO seemed to be playing mediocre football in Piscataway against bad teams. I'm not surprised that having one good RB was able to turn their fortunes that much given the weakness of the Big East and their non-conference schedule.


November 8th, 2018 at 3:29 PM ^

I knew before opening that Steve Piloti wrote that article.

He's been hung up on Rutgers getting less of a revenue share (at least until 2020) vs. their B1G conference mates.  That's NOT the conference's fault.  Rutgers agreed to the terms, and they did because they would have been foolish to not accept.

Besides, Rutgers isn't really good at anything.  You'd figure there would be some non-revenue sport where they compete near the top of the conference.  That really doesn't happen.

Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame have more B1G Championships than Rutgers. 


November 8th, 2018 at 3:42 PM ^

I mean, at least Greg Schiano had the odd future pro on his teams.

Chris Ash has.....Artur Sitkowski, soon to be selling used cars in Piscataway. 

Rutgers has nothing in its athletic repertoire that is even remotely attractive or that people seem to care about. 


November 8th, 2018 at 3:57 PM ^

Rutgers will get a full share in 2 years, so they should borrow against it now and upgrade facilities and not waste it on Ash's buyout. Then in 2 years hire a real coaching staff.


November 8th, 2018 at 4:11 PM ^

Didn't read the article. Is the lack of cash really the problem? As other commenters have said, other schools do more with less. If Rutgers had any sort of football (or general athletics) tradition and support, they would have boosters willing to fund quality coaches to make up the difference.

In the long term, the money will even itself out. But I'm willing to bet that even after a decade of equal Big Ten money, Rutgers will have a 4-year rolling conference record that is significantly worse than Indiana and Maryland in the East, or Purdue and Illinois in the West.