clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Secrets and Lies

Vote for Pedro

Even though training camp opens on Saturday the Dolphins front office hasn't stopped working to improve the roster.

On Tuesday the Dolphins worked out former Rutgers tackle Pedro Sosa, who started 38 games for the Scarlet Knights, and was a two-time second-team All-Big East selection.

The Dolphins, which were the first of six teams to show interest in Sosa, will likely wait for the results of a physical before determining whether or not to sign the versatile lineman.

Sosa, who is 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, entered his senior season projected as an early second-day draft pick, but he tore the patella tendon in his left knee during the season.

He finished out Rutgers' season playing with the injury but re-injured it during practices for the East/West Shrine game. The knee was surgically repaired in January and according to Sosa's agent, Harold Lewis, Sosa's doctors say "the knee is at 100 percent."

The Dolphins have five tackles on the roster. But beyond Vernon Carey, who is projected to start along with rookie Jake Long, there is little NFL experience, which makes depth questionable.

That's far less definitive than the MSG report from Fooch. I think Miami is a good situation for Sosa though (which I will talk about in my upcoming Rutgers in the NFL preview), and it sounds like maybe possibly this could happen if he passes his physical. That might be easier said than done though coming off knee surgery.

Meanwhile...

Rutgers University made a secret deal with Greg Schiano, its head football coach, promising to complete a $102 million expansion of its football stadium by 2009 or allow him to walk away from his contract without penalty.

Greg Schiano would be required to pay $500,000 for breaking his contract if he left following the end of the 2009 football season. However, an addendum to his contract, never divulged by Rutgers, releases him from any damages if the stadium construction is not completed on time.

with mounting criticism over another hidden side deal with Schiano that guaranteed him an additional $250,000 in undisclosed compensation, revealed only this evening that they had included a stadium clause as a further incentive to the high-profile coach, who has been courted by at least two top football programs, including Miami and Michigan.

"It is a commitment to the coach that the two phases of the expansion of the stadium will be completed by the beginning of the 2009 football season; more specifically that one of them will be completed in 2008 and the other one in 2009," explained university president Richard L. McCormick. "We wanted to maintain the momentum of the program. We wanted to keep Greg Schiano as our coach.

He said Rutgers should have made public all the terms and changes in its agreement with Schiano.

"I'm not sure why we didn't, but I regret it," he said.

Neither Schiano, nor university athletic director Robert Mulcahy -- who negotiated the contract -- responded to requests for comment.

No one ever accused the Rutgers administration of being competent. That's the issue here, more than the specifics of Schiano's compensation or any promises they may have made.

Aditi weighs in on the sponsorship controversy with some good points:

There are two parts to this, the first being that the money's coming from the sponsorship revenue Nelligan raises for Rutgers. T.J. Nelligan said Rutgers collected $4 million in such revenue last year and should be up to $6 million next year. He could theoretically give all that money to Rutgers and then Rutgers would send that additional $250,000 to Greg, but... by paying it to Greg directly, Bob gets to keep it off his budget. And guess what? This is totally common practice.

At Texas, $120,000 of Mack Brown's salary is paid by the UT Golf Club. Bob Stoops gets $150,000 of his salary from the Oklahoma Medical Center, Mark Richt gets $550,000 from the Georgia Athletic Association, which is a separate entity from the university athletic department, and Ron Zook gets roughly $200,000 from a personal services agreement with Nike. These personal services contracts are a way for athletic departments to defray some of the costs of their coaches' salaries, and they generally come from an apparel or equipment company, a radio or TV conglomerate, or a sports marketing firm. T.J. Nelligan said his firm has a similar arrangement with nearly all its BCS clients and he guessed that anywhere from 60-80 percent of BCS coaches get part of their salary this way. So no real scandal there.

That's a positive spin on it, and Aditi has some additional good news about travel sponsorships. Other editorials in the Bergen Record have not been very favorable recently. Gannett has been mixed, with the Asbury Park Press being very negative, while the local Home News Tribune is more supportive.

Meanwhile, Rutgers ag scientists work to bring back the Jersey tomato. You mean he's not currently on the editorial board of the Star-Ledger?!?!?