Streams

Controversy and the Future of Rutgers

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

At a contentious town hall forum yesterday, Rutgers President Robert Barchi took questions about the lingering controversy over abuses by basketball coach Mike Rice, and his plans to merge the school with other New Jersey campuses. Governor Christie defended Barchi's response to the Rice scandal. Karen Cerulo, professor of sociology at Rutgers University and Terri Langford, investigative reporter at New Jersey Public Radio, discuss where faculty and students think the university should go next.

Guests:

Karen Cerulo and Terri Langford
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Comments [34]

Homophobia...abuse...violence...bullying...turning a blind eye in sports???

This is new??

Apr. 09 2013 11:25 AM

A million bucks and an iPad for getting fired???

What more do we need to know about the fundamental culture of sports??

Apr. 09 2013 11:21 AM

Future of Rutgers???

Why don't we discuss the future of corrupt/abusive university sports?!?!

Rutgers is just the tip of the iceberg.

Apr. 09 2013 11:18 AM
Paythetalent from North Brunswick

It is unjust to build and operate a billion dollar industry on the backs of workers/athletes who are not only not paid but are prohibited from accepting payments (even from third parties). Can there be any justice in creating so called gender equality in sports via the proceeds of the unpaid athletic performance by men? Why is this business model acceptable? It is not acceptable in other areas of the entertainment industry such as film, music or gaming. A flawed premise will generally lead to problems. Consistent with this, here, the last ones considered were the athletes. Thanks for exploring this topic.

Apr. 09 2013 10:53 AM
nycosmo

" the gross managerial incompetence is not Pernetti’s alone, but rather is shared by Rutgers’ senior administration and the Board of Governors and the Governor" -- Professor Richard E. Miller in his insightful critique of the 4/5/2013 news conference. Read more at text2cloud

Apr. 09 2013 10:46 AM
Tom from Port Washington

@mick from inwood

Big Ten athletic departments do contribute significant sports revenue to their universities, in that the BTN television money does not all get paid to the AD, a lot of it goes to the university general fund and is not used as sports revenue. That is one major reason that university presidents are absolutely supportive of the BTN, conference realignment, and the exposure the sports teams bring: Big Ten football pays for a lot of scholarships and other bills on campus. The trade-off of having the AD act on a corporate model is well worth it.

Apr. 09 2013 10:39 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

janny1006 from jersey city -
No Rutgers for your kid because a student committed suicide there, and some idiotic coach abused his players? You think these things are unique to Rutgers, or the world at large? If you want to live your life falling for sensationalism, be my guest.

Apr. 09 2013 10:32 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Rutgers pursuit of excellence in big time sports - football, basketball - is a black hole for money and is definitely a case of the tail wagging the dog. I defy any accounting of the money spent on the pursuit of big time sports success to show that it has brought more money to the university than it has taken out.

I am biased. The university reduced six 'Olympic' sports from varsity to club status. Among them were Crew - and Rutgers had the longest crew tradition in the nation - and the sport that I lettered in, Fencing. Most significantly, the university cut Men's Swimming and Diving - closing the door to continued competition for THOUSANDS of swimmers who would like to go to Rutgers and practice their sport. Can you think of an NJ high school that DOES NOT have a swim team. Should all of those athletes be forced to pick a different school to attend?

College athletics are more important to do than to watch. If the next AD has his head on straight about the role of athletics in American life, maybe this wrongheaded pursuit of pro careers for an insignificant fraction of the students can be discarded.

Apr. 09 2013 10:31 AM
VinnieK-NJ from NJ

1) It is also not that unusual for even high school students on sports teams to have varying levels of abuse. I believe that is why the coach was not fired right away.
2) Universities should not have teams of students. They should give up the pretense of educating the athletes. It would be very easy to have farm teams of the major sports attached to the universities. The players would not be students - so there would be no false promises. The teams would be supported by major professional teams and various corporations. A percentage of the take would be used to (finally! support academic programs.
3) It would be a mistake to remove graduate programs from Newark, yet again treating it (after the UMDNJ merger) as filled with second class citizens.

Apr. 09 2013 10:30 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Maybe there was no mechanism for this & it can't be done retroactively, but there should certainly be an exception to the huge severance package for coaches in case of firing for cause. Kind of like a dishonorable discharge in the military.

Apr. 09 2013 10:30 AM

I am an RU alum. As much as I am ashamed by the behavior and inaction of various people at Rutgers, I'm more disappointed that the world of American journalism has not yet turned this into a larger conversation about the culture of college sports; the power of coaches; college sports budgets; a tradition of abuse and exploitation of unpaid atheletes; and the responsibility of the NCAA for these problems.

The federal and state governments certainly have responsibility for these public universities, and the NCAA effectively holds a state-sponsored monopoly over collegiate sports. Yet, the NCAA rarely comes up for rebuke.

Apr. 09 2013 10:30 AM
Steve from Flemington from Flemington

I think the real problem is not Rutgers, but our culture in general. I believe we as Americans simply place more value on sports than education. When we start to realize that football and basketball are mere games and not the be all and end all, we will be a better society. How do you get society to change it's values? This situation is not unique to Rutgers or New Jersey. If anything, it is probably more of an issue in other regions of our country.

Apr. 09 2013 10:29 AM
jm

If 2 yrs severance "reflects the general culture" in terms of overinflated athletic resources, this is a great place to begin hanging that culture within the university environment.

Apr. 09 2013 10:29 AM
Noah from Brooklyn

Who ever said two years of salary as severance for cause is reasonable. Generally when you are fired for cause you don't get any severance, certainly not your average American. When you get laid off and are given severance it is usually closer to a a few weeks or a month's salary. You only get a year or more when you have a non-compete. I think all contracts, particularly publicly funded ones should have no severance when there is cause.

Apr. 09 2013 10:28 AM
Christine from Westchester

Tempest in a teapot. First- sports is rough stuff. Did he step over the line: maybe. 2) Universities are less about education and more about their revenue. Sports = revenue.

Apr. 09 2013 10:28 AM
mick from Inwood

Administrator at state universities like sports program because sports appeal to alums and non-university affiliated citizens like the entertainment of having a team to call their own. These translate into support for the current administration...but not necessarily for funding of the school. I'm a graduate from a Big 10 school, and none of the money from the sports programs left the sports department. This was a big issue and since it is a public school, the budget was public knowledge up, if difficult to access. This policy sports money staying in the sports department was typical of all the schools in the Big 10 at the time, with the possible exception of Northwestern, which is a private school and does not have to reveal that kind of information. The excuse was that the football and basketball money paid for non-popular sports, including women's sports. But these sports also had budget lines from the general university funds.

Apr. 09 2013 10:28 AM
Tom from Port Washington

Just wait until Rutgers joins the Big Ten and those huge TV revenue checks start rolling in. Think the AD and coach are being paid a lot now, and getting generous packages for leaving? Pay will go up and contracts will longer and tighter. But on the bright side, Big Ten athletic departments tend to contribute money not only to support non-revenue sports, but also to support the general scholarship fund.

Apr. 09 2013 10:27 AM
janny1006 from jersey city

All very interesting...my high school junior and I just did the campus tour a few weeks ago. Impressive campus, but I have to say, listening to all of this, and being reminded of the Tyler Clemente tragedy--all will be taken into consideration as we consider colleges.

Apr. 09 2013 10:24 AM
Rich from Westfield, NJ

Barchi was hired as part of the drive to consolidate the medical school and healthcare leadership in the state around Rutgers. This consolidation is a key part of Governor Christie's economic and political agenda. Rightly or wrongly, he has to stand by Barchi, who was rightly clueless of the disgraceful activity going on in the athletics program, which most likely in his view as "CEO" of the University was something of minimal interest to him and a matter that as CEO he delegated to Tom Pernetti, who until the past two weeks was one of the most respected ADs in the country. That is why this is going to be an important story for some weeks to come. A terrible mess in a time of crucial transition for a wonderful university.

Apr. 09 2013 10:24 AM
NSNY from Bklyn

I'm surprised that the question of why universities invest in sports when they don't directly generate revenue, is still receiving a "hypothetical" answer. I went to Temple University in the 90's. In a university of at least 30,000 students, there were only about 200 honor students. I almost had to drop out because I couldn't afford school on my own. When I went to the financial aid office I was told that if I were on the basketball team, they would be able to help me out but that though the honors program had very low enrollment, the school's priority was sports. YES, the reason is that universities say sports attract students.

Apr. 09 2013 10:23 AM
tony from NYC

Brian they used to say that athletics drives up applications - not sure if it's still true but after winning or being a part of the "march madness" drove applications up

Apr. 09 2013 10:21 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

As John Gambling said on WOR Radio this morning, if this coach had just pushed athletes and thrown balls at their heads, the press would have ignored it ... not enough liberal, pious muckraking potential. But simply add in some gay slurs and the gay victimhood industrial complex spun into action. (OMG ... the university must be totally reformed... tear it down ...blah, blah blah.) This is all being blown up in the service of political correctness.

Bravo, John! LOL, it actually takes AM talk radio to speak "truth to power". You are right in your musing, Brian, it is mostly the creation of the media.

Apr. 09 2013 10:18 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Prof. Cerulo - Do you seriously think that the same level of bullying - name calling and 'roid rage is not going on in half the campuses of the country. Rutgers is not special in this case. Interview every athlete who has transferred and you'll collect lots of evidence about sick coach behavior. It is the nature of the relationship between coaches and college players - ALL OF THE POWER is on one side.

Fix that, and the abusive nature of most coaches will fall away.

Apr. 09 2013 10:18 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Former Rutgers Pres. Lawrence said "genetic," not "generic," & I'm pretty sure he said it about race, not economic disadvantage.

Apr. 09 2013 10:17 AM
john from office

WOW, the PC police are out in force. A coach who yells at his team, calls them sissies or fags, let's string him up. The hitting was unacceptable, but not all of life is filled with roses. This is such nonsense.

Apr. 09 2013 10:16 AM
nycosmo

Rutgers continues to act as Team Failure of Process. In moving forward with the search for a new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for the Rutgers-New Brunswick Campus," the search committee is co-chaired by executive vice president and interim chancellor Richard L. Edwards. Edwards was made aware of Rice's misconduct in JULY 2012!

Apr. 09 2013 10:16 AM
Nick from UWS

Really? An athletic coach used rough language? This is national news? What the hell is all this? Why are the activities and behavior of morons national news? Why does this country insist in miring itself in completely irrelevant nonsense? Do we have to hear about this? You think this is the only place this happens in life? JESUS CHRIST GET OVER IT

Apr. 09 2013 10:14 AM

Yeah again violence & bullying are a story. let's take a deeper look at US

Apr. 09 2013 10:13 AM

ummmm...have any of you played any organized sports before? Pretty common behavior. Was anyone scarred beyond repair? Did someone refer to the coach as an "educator".

Apr. 09 2013 10:13 AM
Jon from Essex County

So rich hearing Christie and Sweeney rail against verbal abuse.
Why aren't we talking also about Eric Murdock who was trying to extort the University and is under FBI investigation?
Not defending Rice, but AD totally scapegoated and thrown under the bus.

Apr. 09 2013 10:13 AM
Jon from Essex County

So rich hearing Christie and Sweeney rail against verbal abuse.
Why aren't we talking also about Eric Murdock who was trying to extort the University and is under FBI investigation?
Not defending Rice, but AD totally scapegoated and thrown under the bus.

Apr. 09 2013 10:13 AM
Jerry from Elmhurst

I thought that after Tyler Clemente suicide, Rutgers had a diversity and sensitivity program. Apparently, it was all a sham.

Apr. 09 2013 10:10 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Why continue to discuss this story? Who cares? So what? Must be a slow news day.

Apr. 09 2013 10:08 AM

fire the prez now! he chose to not see what was in front of him.

Apr. 09 2013 10:08 AM

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