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Who has the power at Rutgers (and in NJ)? Part Deux

Money makes the world go round, and both OTB and Steve Politi recognze that significance with RU's most influential people.

Greg Brown is a man with influence
Greg Brown is a man with influence
Rutgers University

Oh, come on, Steve! Odell Beckham, Jr. as the most influential sports person in New Jersey? A wide receiver on a team that isn't quite sure what it's going to be this year is the most influential? Really?

Well, that's how Steve Politi saw his 2015 "Juice List". I liked my Rutgers juice list better. By the way, Steve, is "Juice List" copyrighted?

About one-third of his list of 25 names had Rutgers people associated with it. So maybe Rutgers is a bigger deal in New Jersey than we're giving it credit. And that included three people among the top ten names.

There were five names common to both Politi's and our lists, which is pretty good since his list covered all New Jersey sports, not just college and not just Rutgers. If you count Carli Lloyd from his list and Women's Soccer Coach Mike O'Neill from our's as a linked pair, there are six.

I know, I'm stretching with that last one.


A couple of missing names from both lists: Todd Frazier and Eddie Jordan.

Frazier was big in being the champion of the MLB Homerun Derby and in being an All Star. He's hot and has been a great face for Rutgers. Combined with Lloyd, July was just about perfect for Rutgers. Now if only the month had an R in it and we could write JuRly. Like CaRli and FRazier.

Eddie missing from my list was tough. He's the coach of one of the three marquee sports at Rutgers. He's been plugging away, making changes, giving his soul to Alma Mater. But, as Politi said of Stringer, she produced on the court. And rattled a few cages about facilities. Juice, anyone?

Money Talks

The Politi Juice List - at least as far as Rutgers was concerned - put money people at the top.

Both lists put influential donors and finance people in the top ten - but then we only had ten names. Jeff Towers is a major donor, a guy who could pull strings and write checks. He's supported athletics before and undoubtedly will be called on again. He got the No. 4 spot (for all of New Jersey remember!) from Politi, while he was No. 5 with us. The other name was Greg Brown. Brown has also given big money (Brown Recruiting Pavilion) but his real juice is as chair of the University's Board of Governors. He had been linked, at least indirectly, with Greg Schiano and is still a powerful figure in athletics.

The OTB list's top five names all have something to do with money, whether Brown, Towers, or Ray Lesniak - on the "outside" - or Julie Hermann and Sarah Baumgartner inside.


Speaking of our good friend, Senator Lesniak made both lists as well. We had him at No. 4, Politi at No. 7. The Senator's reaction to being named to the On the Banks list?

You're very welcome, Senator.

Interestingly, PolitickerNJ released a list of the 50 most powerful elected officials in New Jersey at around the same time, and Lesniak came in at number 8. His reaction?


As you might have expected, Kyle Flood made both lists, and Eric LeGrand came in at No. 21 on Politi's. It is a tribute to Eric that he is still so important to Rutgers, as well as being a force in advocating for rehabilitation and medical research on spinal cord injuries. And he has juice!

Quick review of the OTB Most Influential at Rutgers

10. Mike O'Neill, Head Women's Soccer Coach

9. Scott Goodale, Head Wrestling Coach

8. Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner

7. Robert Barchi, Rutgers University President

6. Kyle Flood, Head Football Coach

5. Jeff Towers, athletic supporter

4. Ray Lesniak, State Senator and Rutgers alum

3. Sarah Baumgartner, Sr. Associate AD/Chief Development Officer

2. Greg Brown, Chairperson of the Board of Governors and Rutgers alum

1. Julie Hermann, Athletic Director

And Steve Politi's NJ Juice List 2015

No. 21-25 | No. 16-20 | No. 10-15 | No. 6-9 | No. 2-5 1

And the Rutgers people who made his list:

24. C. Vivian Stringer (22): The Naismith Hall of Fame head coach had her Scarlet Knights back in the NCAA Tournament last winter after a couple years on the outside looking in, and just as importantly, no team in Piscataway fared better in its first Big Ten campaign.

21. Eric LeGrand (20): It will be five years since he was paralyzed making a tackle for Rutgers, but he continues to work tirelessly raising money and awareness for spinal-cord research. Up Next: A new show called "Mission Possible" focusing on similar athletes who overcome their physical challenges.

19. Julie Hermann (14): Finally, there is a vision for Rutgers athletics and its facilities, and it falls on Hermann to make the lofty plans a reality. Can she raise the $100 million or more to make the game-changing improvements? Her future and legacy as athletic director depend on it.

14. Kyle Flood (16): Few expected the Scarlet Knights to go 8-5 and win a bowl game in their first Big Ten campaign. That's the good news for the head coach, who enters his fourth season. The bad news? The schedule is even harder this fall.

11. Carli Lloyd (NR): Her recent breakthrough performance at the World Cup catapults her onto the short list of the country's top female athletes. With the Olympics just a year away, she'll have the opportunity to use that new prominence to help her sport and alma mater, Rutgers.

10. Greg Brown (4):Now that Rutgers has a comprehensive facilities plan for its athletics department, we're going to find out in a hurry if it has the well-heeled alumni willing to fork over the greenbacks to support the Scarlet Knights. That starts with Brown, the Motorola CEO and Board of Governors chairman. Will he convince others to follow his lead?

7. Ray Lesniak (NR):The movement to improve Rutgers' athletic facilities was at a crawl until the longtime state senator and men's basketball season ticket holder got involved. Now, there's a good plan, and Lesniak has vowed to see the project through. Next up: Will his sports betting initiative survive in court?

4. Jeff Towers (NR): He is a "mystery donor" no more, and while he prefers to stay in the background, people around Rutgers understand just how important the deep-pocketed booster is to the latest push for new facilities. Will he give the kind of game-changing gift that makes this a reality? Somebody has to.


....with both lists in hand, what do you think? Who was left off? Who shouldn't be there at all? Is Steve Politi really my long lost brother?