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February 28, 2014 10:00 AM How Much Money Does the Rutgers Sports Program Need?

By Daniel Luzer

Rutgers, New Jersey’s flagship public university famous for its incredible generosity to its mediocre athletic program, made an interesting decision last year: it gave the sports programs even more money.

According to a piece at USA Today:

The Rutgers athletics department received nearly $47 million in subsidies from the university’s allocations fund to make up for a shortfall in the approximately $79 million athletics budget during the 2012-13 season. It’s an increase of 67.9% from the $27.9 million subsidy the athletics department received in 2012.

RutgersFootball

Rutgers provides nearly 60 percent of the athletics department’s total budget. The school gives the most money to sports of any Division I public university.

In the last few years Rutgers has shoveled more and more money into its sports programs, even as it avoided honoring employees’ scheduled raises due to “extreme fiscal crisis” and hiked tuition for students almost every year. In 2011 the chairman of the school’s governing board said the tuition increase was necessary because “These are different times. The world changed drastically in 2008.”

Last year Nancy Winterbauer, the school’s vice president for university budgeting, said the school needed to raise tuition again to pay professors’ salaries and for “seed money” as the school worked on a “strategic planning initiative.” Was that $47 million athletic subsidy seed money?

Using my earlier announced “which colleges are making responsible decisions” rating system, which assigns unofficial status to American universities based on a few financial decisions, I think we’ve got a contender for the worst college in America. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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