Scarlet Knights in the Red

When I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, many RU football games had more security guards and concession workers than fans in attendance. The team is now much more competitive in D-1 Football, but did that success come with a hefty price tag?

USA Today reports that since 2006, Rutgers has used $115 million of student fees and government funds to cover shortfalls in the athletics budget — more than twice the amount of the next highest D-1 school.  Even after the school eliminated six teams, the budget continues to grow and the school still needs more funds to balance its books.

The article ends on a disconcerting note concerning the financial state of Rutgers athletics:

For now, with the end of another fiscal year near, Rutgers and [Athletic Director] Tim Pernetti are trying to total how 2011 will end.

“I anticipate that we will be running a deficit this year in athletics,” Pernetti says. “The magnitude is not something I can really say yet because there’s a lot of variables in place.”

Does “running a deficit this year in athletics” mean the university will need to provide late-fiscal-year assistance to balance the books?

“If you’re saying, ‘Is it similar to ‘09-10 where there was an increase in university support?’ The answer would be yes.”

At least the Grease Trucks are doing well.

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