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"I anticipate that we will be running a deficit this year in athletics," Pernetti says. "The...

"I anticipate that we will be running a deficit this year in athletics," Pernetti says. "The magnitude is not something I can really say yet because there's a lot of variables in place."

Not a very favorable article in USA Today on Rutgers athletic subsidies. The fact is that the fundamental thesis of this article is correct. It does get a few points of context wrong or misleading however. 1. Conflating institutional support and student fees is improper. The former is 100% indefensible. The latter is a gray area. 2. Patrick Nowlan's allegation that athletics is a top priority is ridiculous when considering how minuscule the level of institutional support is compared to the overall athletic budget. Rutgers should not be subsidizing athletics to the extent that it currently is. However, that level of subsidy is still a relative drop in the bucket, and it is intellectually dishonest to claim otherwise. 3. The article's headline "Rutgers leads nation in athletics subsidies" is misleading considering that USA Today's otherwise excellent financial investigative work on college athletics has minimal information on private universities that are not subject to open records laws. 4. The article has a disproportionate focus on football given NCAA research on this very subject. The article's authors should well realize this point given their nod to the athletic department fielding an above-average number of teams. 5. Worst of all, the article accepts hook, line, and sinker the false premise of Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman's ill-conceived series of articles in the Newark Star-Ledger three years ago. This is especially disappointing given that USA Today's sister publications in New Jersey remained a vanguard of accuracy and verisimilitude in the face of Margolin and Sherman's repeated factual errors.
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