Rutgers lost more than $184,000 on its December trip to Birmingham for the PapaJohn's.com Bowl. This despite a payout of $1.2 million.
Some of the costs:
- $282,610 to send 205 members of the football team and staff to Birmingham for six days.
- $165,799 for 187 members of the band and cheerleading squads, who went for three days.
- $28,950 for 21 members of the faculty, administration and athletics department.
- Food and lodging expenses totaled $263,334.
The game triggered $268,365 in performance bonuses and other compensation for the coach Greg Schiano and his staff. Rutgers was obligated as well to buy 10,000 tickets to the game, although it sold less than half of them, absorbing $214,000 in tickets.
The Big East Conference, which pools bowl money, will cover the overrun, but it's another black eye for the athletic department, which under-reported expenses associated with the 2005 Insight Bowl. The department also came under fire for expenses associated with the 2006 Texas Bowl. Some of those expenses included in-room movies, valet parking, room service and phone charges.
The department was criticized for a $102 million, 14,000-seat expansion of Rutgers Stadium in an editorial last August in the New York Times titled "Football Fantasy at Rutgers." The editorial said university president Richard McCormick "has long been a shameless cheerleader for the high-stakes football program."
Last July, university officials were cited for a "lack of transparency" involving a $250,000 side deal that was negotiated with Schiano. The deal was structured to keep it off the school's payroll.
Now comes a money-losing trip to Birmingham. Not good considering that New Jersey's budget deficit has grown by an additional $1.5 billion in the last month to $3.6 billion this fiscal year. State employees are now facing two unpaid furlough days.