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Rutgers Athletics: It's All About the Money

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Documents are Leaked and Sources are Sourced.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In a fascinating article, Keith Sargeant broke the news of how the athletic department is doing financially.  It's a compelling read for die hards--those who are excited more about Big Ten payouts than beating Michigan at the RAC or under the lights on October 4th.

Here's the gist of it.  Incoming money is up, and will go up again next year, as Rutgers is expecting a 10 million dollar payout from the new conference, after getting 8.5 million from the American (remember them?).

But here's where things get interesting:  In Sargeant's article, he says that-while Rutgers ranked dead last in donors for the Big Ten Conference last year--if things remain the same with other schools, the Scarlet Knights will trend up to 9th in the league.  Almost middle of the pack.  Donors have increased from 5,097 to 8,057.

However, if I'm reading this right, (and if I'm not, please point it out to me--I will edit the article) there's a major disparity between what the documents say and what a source says in a separate article by Ryan Dunleavy.

In Sargeant's story and the attached powerpoint, it says:

Rutgers projects $35.6 million in athletics revenue for 2014, a total that includes $8.5 million from the American Athletic Conference, $9.5 million in ticket sales, $3.6 million in sponsorship, $9 million in contributions and $5 million in other-event revenue.

..................

For 2015, Rutgers' athletics spending is projected to increase to $69.5 million. Revenue is expected to increase to $41.5 million, a total that includes $10 million from the Big Ten, $12 million in ticket sales, $6 million in sponsorship, $12 million in contributions and $1.5 million in other-event revenue.

While Rutgers lags behind its Big Ten peers in annual donor funds, the report indicates a 41.3 percent increase in donations, from $4.6 million in 2013 to $6.5 in 2014.

That is a nice jump and shows that fans' eyes are opening toward the Big Ten.  However, in Dunleavy's story, it says:

Rutgers raised $13.8 million in donations toward student-athlete scholarships and operational support as well as through premium seat inventory and season ticket seat gifts from 8,057 donors from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, the source said. That represents an increase from the $11.7 million from 4,988 donors in fiscal year 2013, according to the source.

That's a giant disparity in reports.  Either way, the income is up, but one hopes the numbers are more accurate in the Gannett story.

The other interesting note is Rutgers spends the least on athletics in the Big Ten.  If the Scarlet Knights are going to compete and excel, that number is going to have to go up and donors are going to have to pay their share.

This is a story to watch, but we are still in exciting times at Rutgers as we move deeper into the Big Ten.  Optimistically, more eyes of fans are on Rutgers.  The more success the football and basketball teams have on the field/court, the more money will come in.  Fans are excited and success will breed more success.

Here is a link to the actual powerpoint presentation Julie Hermann gave--per NJ.com.

EDIT: Sargeant released another article. One that appears to go a little deeper into the numbers.

It appears university subsidies will not decrease, and Rutgers won't meet earlier projections.

The article also has two quotes from President Barchi regarding support for Julie Hermann.  The interview was done at the Penn State game:

"How do I feel about Julie? You know, I think that Julie was absolutely my choice. I've been behind her 100 percent. It's been a very difficult market for her to grow up in. But I think that she's making the right moves. I like where she's going. She and I work very closely together. You've got to give her a little space. You really do.''

And, on her dealings with the media:

"Well, it's not Julie 'not interacting with the media.' It's her having a solid team. Nobody can do this by themselves, and if we don't have a solid team around her, it's like having a quarterback with nobody blocking. That takes a little while.