Meet the Bizarro Butts-Mehre.
All of which brings us to the athletic department’s 2016 financial report to the N.C.A.A. The Star-Ledger obtained this document recently; it showed a blood-red deficit of $28.6 million. The 64-page report had a one-line notation: “Other Operating Revenue: $10,495,912.”
It turned out that the university bank quietly lent $10.5 million to the athletic department to keep it afloat and pay severance costs for expensive and failed coaches. That loan came weighted with an interest rate of 5.75 percent; the cost of repaying it will run north of $18 million, according to university documents.
Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams…
Late last month, I requested an interview with the athletic director, Patrick Hobbs. A day later, I also asked to speak with the president, Robert Barchi. These requests were met with silence.
On Thursday, I asked again, and a spokeswoman offered an off-the-record interview with Hobbs. I declined. An email statement soon arrived, saying in part, “Rutgers Athletics will be in a position to generate a positive cash flow for the university after we receive our full share of Big Ten revenues in 2021.”
Let me translate: That the athletic department has been run with no regard for sound financial practice is a trifle. Soon enough, piles of dough from the Big Ten’s billion-dollar-plus television contract will be deposited on the front steps of the athletic department. Its take could amount to $40 million.
This is like handing Jesse James the keys to Fort Knox.
Yeah, Jim Delany sure can pick ’em.