How Intercollegiate Athletics Compete with Academics at Rutgers University

ACADEME BLOG

In a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, Joe Nocera examines the increasing tension between the priorities of faculty and of alumni donors who want to create a nationally prominent athletics program at Rutgers University. Here are several paragraphs from the middle of the column, which is titled, “At Rutgers, It’s Books vs. Ballgames”:

“The Rutgers athletic department has consistently run large deficits; indeed, since the 2005-6 academic year, deficits have exceeded $20 million a year. In the last academic year, Rutgers athletics generated $40.3 million in revenue, but spent $76.7 million, leaving a deficit of more than $36 million. In other words, revenue barely covered half the department’s expenses.

“And how did the university cover this shortfall? Partly, it used its own funds, to the tune of $26 million last year, money that might have gone to professors’ salaries or other academic needs. It also took…

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