Chapter XXVII: Incompetent, not corrupt

The athletic department has released the results of its internal review.

In a detailed written statement, President McCormick pledged to address carefully all of the report’s recommendations. He outlined a series of immediate actions, including:

  • additional administrative oversight over the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • expanding the size and responsibilities of the university’s Internal Audit Department
  • requiring for all coaches written employment contracts that include all elements of compensation
  • requiring presidential approval of the compensation for all head coaches.

The president will take forward to the Board of Governors the committee recommendations that require Board approval.

The committee’s report acknowledges that the changing culture of a rapidly developing NCAA Division I athletics program has placed additional stress on the system at Rutgers. The committee identifies no illegal or unethical activities at Rutgers and does not raise concerns about the outcomes of decisions that were made by the university. The report, however, does challenge the university to improve substantially the way decisions regarding intercollegiate athletics are made in the future.

Of course, not many people are willing to dig through 35 pages.

I've looked through the report, and it finds no wrongdoing with respect to any arrangements with Nelligan Sports, however concluding that there needed to be more clarity and oversight of that relationship. The draft escape clause was definitely not included in the final contract. However, this fact was unknown to Richard McCormick and the BoG. The BoG wasn't even aware of the existence of the draft clause to begin with. The report does take issue with the apparent haphazard commitment to keeping McCormick and the BoG informed on this topic, and that clearly does need to improve. These problems were institutional in nature, and not caused by any inherent desire for secrecy.

I do believe the light amount of criticism in the report is appropriate, as no significant wrongdoing was found whatsoever, nor has it been alleged. However, it does paint a somewhat troubling picture of ineffective governance and poor communication, which should be no surprise whatsoever to anyone remotely familiar with any aspect of the internal Rutgers administration. These problems are pervasive throughout the University, which does not excuse the athletic department.

It's time for the athletic department to implement the recommended changes, and for the Star-Ledger to move on. They're not the only group here that needs to change for the better. Margolin and Sherman are clearly defensive over the hostile reaction to their initial reporting, and I think that's causing them to push back even harder.

Well, at least we won't hear from them again until the stadium issues are resolved.

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