SBD/Issue 21/Collegiate Sports

Rutgers Univ. Officials Unveil New Ethics, Oversight Measures

Rutgers Univ. Seeks Ways To Cut Cost
On $102M Football Stadium Expansion Project
Rutgers Univ. (RU) officials yesterday unveiled "sweeping new ethics and oversight measures that come in the wake of continuing questions over athletics department spending and growing financial concerns within the university," according to a front-page piece by Margolin & Sherman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Officials added that they are "seeking ways to cut the cost of the university's controversial, $102[M] football stadium expansion project." The officials "would not be specific on the scope of stadium cuts -- or if they were considering canceling the project's second phase -- but said all options were on the table." The new oversight rules "will be implemented throughout the school, but were particularly aimed at addressing recent revelations about contracts, spending and compensation within the athletics department." RU President Richard McCormick said that the changes being instituted include "requiring a legal review of all future athletics department sponsorship deals, creating policies to ensure that contracts and other deals are not compromised by conflicts of interest, and setting up a review of all 'high-level' compensation packages to determine which require board approval." McCormick "did not say when the proposals would go into effect." Margolin & Sherman note the contract of RU football coach Greg Schiano "has come under scrutiny" after reports that $250,000 was "funneled to the coach in guaranteed additional compensation through payments made off the university's books." Other reports revealed that RU selected Nelligan Sports Marketing "in an exclusive, no-bid deal that was signed soon after" the company hired former VP Robert J. Mulcahy, the son of RU AD Robert E. Mulcahy (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/14).

ECONOMIC EFFECT: In New Jersey, Erica Harbatkin reports RU will "re-bid part of the $102[M] football stadium project as part of a wider effort to decrease costs," but officials "could not elaborate on how the changes might affect the project's scope." Bidding will close "in late October and the process probably won't be completed until early December" (HOME NEWS TRIBUNE, 10/14). McCormick said that the credit crunch "will force the university to take a 'hard look' at all building projects." In New Jersey, Patricia Alex notes McCormick "has been vague" on whether the $102M football stadium project "will be scaled back but has said it must come in on budget." Given the growing costs of materials and credit, it is "unclear what changes will be made," but McCormick said that he "has asked the athletic department to 'develop options' for the stadium" (Bergen RECORD, 10/14).

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