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Volume 26 No. 209
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New Jersey Gov. Says Schiano Hiring Necessary For Rutgers To Compete

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy emphasized that Rutgers hiring Greg Schiano is "necessary for the school's struggling football program to succeed in a massive athletic conference like the Big Ten, and that will attract more student-athletes and more student applicants overall to Rutgers," according to Brent Johnson of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Murphy "declined to say how much taxpayer money will go into Schiano's contract" -- an eight-year deal worth $32M that also "includes incentives tied to team- and academic-performance." However, Rutgers faculty members "expressed opposition to the cost of Schiano's contract" before the school's BOG approved it on Tuesday. Rutgers' AAUP-AFT Treasurer David Hughes said that the school's athletic department is a "'laughingstock' nationally because of its financial losses." He added Schiano's salary is "a lot of money and a lot of time devoted by the administration to one employee" and that it could be used on academics (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/5).

MOMENTOUS DECISION: Outgoing Rutgers President Robert Barchi called Schiano's hiring a "quantum step forward for the program." Barchi: "Everything we do is built on what we've done before, but every once in a while you take a step that's more than just incremental. ... I reckon this to be one of the biggest" (AP, 12/4). In New Jersey, Stephen Edelson writes Rutgers football is "relevant again." Schiano's return has "suddenly changed the narrative surrounding the downtrodden program." The "laughing stock is suddenly the talk of the town." What that "translates to in terms of wins and losses remains to be seen, but from the standpoint of recruiting, coaching, arm-twisting donors, cajoling politicians, it's what the program needs right now" (ASBURY PARK PRESS, 12/5).