Tag:New Jersey
Posted on: February 22, 2009 12:47 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2009 6:38 pm

So What Are We Looking For In A New AD?

Having been encouraged to put finger to keyboard again by friends (who were encouraged by alcoholic beverages to make this recommendation) I offer this update of The Barbarian Report.  Although the Star Ledger hasn't given me much material lately (apparently they're too worried about survival as evidenced by the merging of their Trenton bureau with the Record), journalistic integrity or lack thereof continues to abound in other places as well.  Is Kenny Britt a prima donna?  I don't know, I've never spoken with Kenny.  Aditi Kinkhabwala, who has, doesn't think so.  All I can say is I've never seen this kid preen, gloat or do anything to embarass his team or an opposing player during a game.  Could Schiano be entitled to more credit for this than Kenny?  Maybe because no RU player engages in these antics.  As for the latest journalistic falsity, Aditi notes a blog that claims that Kenny was suspended this year for insurbordination.  The blog is WRONG.  Sources close to the team indicate that the suspension had nothing to do with insurbordination or anything remotely prima donna like.  Amazing how all these people who are seeing Britt for the first time are parroting this prima donna line when the reporters who covered him for three years never mentioned this problem.

On to the new AD.  I find it extremely difficult to figure out what we're looking for in a new athletic director because we still haven't been told what was wrong with the old one.  I assume that building a successful football program was a good thing and we want to continue this.  Otherwise, as one sage poster noted, we'll have a wonderful stadium with 55,000 empty seats.  The question of money looms large in the selection.  First, RU needs someone who can get it.  The football program is sound, now Rutgers has to build a bigger fan base to support it and expand it further.  Double decking both endzones would probably bring capacity to around 70,000, which I believe Schiano once mentioned was the ultimate goal.  However, I doubt this will ever happen without a substantial alumni fundraising operation.

The other impact of money could have played in the dismissal of Bob Mulcahy.  I heard it expounded well for the first time by the sage poster noted above.  It's called the Big Donor Theory.  Now even though I still feel Mulcahy was correct in cutting some of the non-revenue generating sports, there may be a big donor or donors for these sports that feel(s) differently.  And these donors, along with the infamous George Xanadu (That's not his last name?  Sorry I get my Z sounds confused) were responsible for the firing.  So the thinking goes, if the new AD agrees to bring back big donor's sport, big donor agrees to be, well, a big donor again.  If the new AD brings back one or more of the cut non-revenue sports, this theory gains some validity in my book.   So we're looking for an AD that can raise money and will agree to bring back (your choice) crew, fencing, men's swimming and diving.  Where's the money for this sport come from?  Why Big Donor of course.  My money's on the crew team.  There have been stories that enough money was raised to fund the crew team on a year to year basis but that Mulcahy wouldn't do it unless there was a permanent endowment.  Mulcahy's thinking probably was, I don't want have to cut this sport again two years from now if the money disappears.  Personally I'd like to see the crew team back as long as there is money to support them.  The oldest varsity sport at one of the original colonial colleges deserves to stick around if at all possible.  I still haven't figured out how this gets around Title IX problems though.  Is big donor gonna kick in more money for women's sports too?

What's the last thing we need in an AD?  Somebody who doesn't believe what happened to Mulcahy will ever happen to him.  And that my friends is the tough sell.

By the way Fire, if you recognized yourself in the above, it is purely coincidental.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 14, 2008 8:33 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 9:56 am

Politics + Football in the Garden State = Manure

Usually when it comes to  state university football teams and state politicos, the boys in the state capital are very supportive.  Look at Virginia during the ACC/Big East raid.  The University of Virginia had no interest in letting the western boys of Virginia Tech into their little club.  Until the governor of Virginia weighed in and told them of dire consequences unless they voted the Hokies in.  Look at West Virginia during the Rich Rod soap opera.  Whether you agreed with it or not, the governor was squarely on West Virginia's side.

BUT NOT IN NEW JERSEY.  This week Rutgers President Dick McCormick fired AD Bob Mulcahy.  Mulcahy turned Rutgers football from a national laughingstock into a Big East contender by hiring Greg Schiano.  He also expanded Rutgers Stadium to include club seating for 1,000, an additional stadium capacity of 12,500, and upgraded the Athletic Center to one of the best.  Rutgers football team academically is second only to Navy in APR thanks in no small part to the academic programs Mulcahy set up for the athletes.  Recruiting classes have improved yearly, this year's a possible top 25 class. Rutgers will be attending its fourth bowl game in a row despite having gone to just one in its first 135 years.  And miracle of miracles, football turned a profit last year for the first time in history.  Lest you think Mulcahy is a football only guy, he  has supported C. Vivian Stringer who has made the women's basketball team one of the best in the country, and hired Fred Hill who is still at work trying to revive Rutgers basketball team to the glory of Sellers, Dabney, Bailey, and Jordan.  So all in all, let's say Rutgers is headed in the right direction.

Not according to Dick McCormick.  According to the Prez (who was run out of U of Washington on a rail from the same position) Mulcahy did a great job.  In fact he told him at Thanksgiving that he had nothing to worry about.  But this week, with no warning whatsoever, Mulcahy was called on the carpet and dismissed.  Why?  Even Mulcahy doesn't know.  All McCormick told him was that he wanted to go in "another direction."  What other direction? Down?

Well according to NJ Governor Corzine there were "transparency issues."  Supposedly, according to a muckraking campaign by the Newark Star Ledger, there were secret deals in Greg Schiano's contract.  The first there was a supposed clause in the contract that allowed Schiano to walk if the stadium expansion wasn't completed.  Um, Wrong!  Schiano and Mulcahy both confirmed that no such clause was ever executed.  Schiano said he could have had one if he wanted but he had faith that Bob Mulcahy would get the addition completed.  He was right, the club seats are in and last week the Rutgers' Board of Governors voted to complete the additional 12,500 seats by next September (Despite Governor Corzine first renegging on a promise of a $30 million loan from the state, and then a subsequent boast to lead a private fundraising effort to obtain the $30 million.  So far the Gov has raised only about $1M.)  Someone must have had knowledge of the details of contract negotiations and leaked them to the Star Ledger, since this clause never was executed.

Well ok, said the Star Ledger there was also a secret deal to pay Schiano $250,000 a year from Nelligan Sports which was not made public.  But a funny thing happened.  Rutgers fans found a Star Ledger article from 2006, discussing the exact same clause.  Funny how the Star Ledger had deleted this article from their archives too.  Oh, and a guy named George Zoffinger was quoted as saying this wasn't a bad idea.  So the question remains, why was Bob Mulcahy fired?

Rewind back to when Bob Mulcahy got the job in the late 90's.  There was another candidate named George Zoffinger who obviously didn't get the job.  New Jersey Senate President Cody has described Zoffinger as one of the most dishonest people in politics.  Cody says Zoffinger has a habit of leaking confidential info to his buddies in the press.  Mulcahy was Zoffinger's predecessor as the boss of the New Jersey Meadowlands complex.  Grateful employees erected a plaque in Mulcahy's honor when he left.  Zoffinger took over the post after Mulcahy went to Rutgers.  The plaque mysteriously disappeared.  Oh and Zoffinger was later forced out of that job by Governor Corzine because of a conflict of interest.

So what's this have to do with Rutgers?  Well guess who got appointed to the Rutgers Board of Governors during the time period between former Governor McGreevey's announced resignation in disgrace and actual departure?  George Zoffinger.  Guess who was the only negative vote against Mulcahy's stadium expansion plan?  George Zoffinger.  Guess who was the only BOG member who railed against Mulchahy's decision to cut six varsity sports after drastic funding cuts by the state?  (Never mind that Rutgers still has 24 varsity sports, more than any other school in the Big East). George Zoffinger. Guess who moved out of New Jersey because he has stated that he refuses to pay NJ taxes, is a benefactor of Penn State and publicly stated that Greg Schiano, of course, will go to Penn State when Joe Paterno retires.  Yeah, you know who.  George Zoffinger.

What changed McCormick's mind about Mulcahy?  Who knows?  But there have been reports that he went to a meeting with 2-3 Board of Governors members shortly before the announcement.  I wonder who was there?  After Mulcahy was told, McCormick asked him not to say anything to the press for 24 hours.  By the time he got back to his office, the Star-Ledger was on the phone, asking for confirmation that he had been fired.  Yep, another news leak.  McCormick told Mulcahy that he had not told anyone.  Who could have leaked this information?

So why was Bob Mulcahy fired?  We still don't know.   So much for "transparency" Governor Corzine. Rumors that McCormick was sent a letter by two state senators also may have some bearing on his change of heart.  Whatever the reason, it stinks.  Rutgers football this year was four points away from a BCS bowl, despite a 1-5 start.  Now instead of celebrating their courageous comeback  to 7-5, we're stuck with this pile of horse manure.  Thank you Bob Mulcahy.  Rutgers fans and alumni will neither forget, nor roll back the things you have accomplished.  As for the Rutgers Board of Governors, President and politicos  who treated you so shabbily?  New Jersey is the butt of a lot of jokes.  One of these is that New Jersey , in much coarser words, is the sphincter of the United States.  Well gentlemen, if this is true, from your actions you have proven that you all are just passin' through!


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