Rutgers "projects it will soon begin slashing subsidy payments to the athletics department and bring the sports program -- almost, but not quite -- to a break-even point" by '22, according to Craig Wolff of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The projections "rely heavily on the prospect of mega-television deals and the allure of the Big Ten to sell tickets and attract donations and sponsors even as the Scarlet Knights face a difficult initiation against more powerful and established opponents." After giving the athletics department an "unprecedented" $47M last year, the university "anticipates its subsidy will be reduced by nearly half over the next two years and continue to fall" until '22, when a $3.1M subsidy is projected. The school between '14 and '22 will "shell out more than" $183M to the athletics department, with the dollars "coming from a combination of 'direct institutional support' and student fees." The projections "suggest the school will end up giving the department a quarter billion dollars over 11 years to cover shortfalls in its budgets.” Expenses for the athletics department are "projected to climb" about 3% annually over the "next several years, far less than recent annual increases listed in the school's budget reports" to the NCAA. The projections "do not include anticipated expenses for capital improvements" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/4).