SBD/Issue 141/Collegiate Sports

Rutgers Donors Angered By Olympic Sports Cuts

Two multimillion-dollar donors told Rutgers Univ. (RU) officials that they “will not open their wallets for the school again unless it reverses its decision to cut six Olympic sports,” according to Patricia Alex of the Bergen RECORD. But RU’s BOG “remained unmoved” and it appears heavy and lightweight crew, men’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s fencing and men’s tennis are “headed for demotions from Division I play to club sports at the end of the school year.” Supporters of the teams “say that since July, when the university announced the phaseouts, they have raised nearly $3[M] in pledges to keep the teams going.” Bruce Nicholas, who pledged $1M to the crew team and whose family funded the 740-seat Nicholas Music Center on the RU campus, wrote in a letter to the BOG, “If crew is not reinstated as a varsity sport, we can regrettably no longer support this university in light of its indefensible decision.” Richard Shindell, who last year “endowed a $3[M] chair for stem cell research at Rutgers and has given at least $500,000 to the football program,” told the BOG he “concurred” with Nicholas’ letter. But BOG Chair Al Gamper said, “We can’t afford 30 sports. The administration has the right to set the size of the sports program” (RECORD, 4/14).

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