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Rutgers Athletics: Short on Expectations, Big on Deficits

12-16-11

More than two years after the $102 million expansion of the Rutgers football stadium was completed, a Star-Ledger report found Rutgers football and its broader athletic program to be among the biggest money losers in the nation. According to Jarrett Renshaw who reported on the Star-Ledger story, Rutgers needs to generate $26.8 million per year from student fees and other tuition dollars to cover the cost of its 24-sport athletics program. That figure puts Rutgers in the top ten money losers out of 120 schools ($37 million per year was the highest figure). NJToday’s Mike Schneider spoke at length with Renshaw about the school’s deficit.

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While the football program — the biggest driver of revenue — has increased ticket sales dramatically, Renshaw says the increased revenue does not keep pace with the cost of coaching salaries and stadium expenses. In sum, says Renshaw, the program spends much more than it takes in. The financial gap has become a rallying point for the academic faculty who have not had pay raises and have been told to cut back on expenditures, says Renshaw.