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The Rutgers Univ. (RU) BOG last Friday “unanimously approved eliminating six sports” in an attempt to save $2M annually, according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Beginning in fall ’07, Rutgers will no longer compete in men’s and women’s fencing, men’s crew, men’s tennis and men’s swimming and diving. Those sports account for about $1.2M, “with cuts to administrative personnel and the athletic department’s support staff making up the remaining $800,000.” The move affects 153 athletes and ten coaches. RU officials said that the cuts were “unavoidable after [New Jersey] Gov. Jon Corzine signed a budget eliminating $66[M] in state funding to the university.” Futterman noted RU’s athletic department has about a $36M budget; football and men’s and women’s basketball “account for nearly half of that but bring in just over $10[M] each year” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/15). RU AD Robert Mulcahy said trying to save the sports through private fundraising is “very difficult because if you raise the money to bring back a men’s sport, then because of Title IX we would also have to raise the money to bring back another women’s sport to keep the scholarships even” (Newark STAR LEDGER, 7/16).
ELIMINATION GAME: In New Jersey, Adrian Wojnarowski wrote, “As budgets get tighter, as funding dries up, colleges are going to keep eliminating minor sports. Mostly men’s minor sports, too, because Title IX protects women’s sports scholarship numbers. More and more, the best opportunities to play those sports in college will come on the Division II and III levels, where schools that stay out of the big-time rat race aren’t hunkered down with feeding the monsters of big-time football and basketball” (Bergen RECORD, 7/16).