Pres. McCormick speaks


Here are McCormick's seven stated priorities, along with some analysis: 1.Reunite the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with Rutgers; - McCormick is optimistic that the Christie administration will be on board with the desperately-needed merger. 2.Improve our students’ academic achievement and their graduation rates; - New Brunswick will lower enrollment next year by 4%, which will both ease overcrowding, and improve the university's academic reputation. If they're going to forgo those tuition dollars, then fundraising must be going well, and the administration is optimistic about the higher ed bond passing. 3.Increase funding for research; - see point 2. This is wonderful, and sorely needed, but resources are as always a question. 4.Extend our international reach in strategically selected countries; - this is another way to pad their coffers considering that many foreign students come from relatively well-off backgrounds. Rutgers of course is a natural partner with India and China given local demographics in New Jersey. 5.Bolster our faculty by adding many more endowed chairs; - it's about time, considering the past few years of faculty raids given the budget crisis. Hope the money pans out for this. 6.Expand and improve our campus facilities; - apparently the plan is to get a higher education bond on the ballot in November, 2012. 7.Increase private giving to achieve our ambitions. - all of the above objectives are not going to happen in a vacuum. Alumni are going to have to open their checkbook in a way that they have historically not been inclined to do. It's hard to find much to fault McCormick for in his stated list of priorities. He's always had a good handle on a vision for the future of Rutgers moving forward. At points the implementation of that vision has been sloppy, and Rutgers students and alumni will have to adjust their expectations accordingly with that giant caveat in mind.

Jerami Grant to Syracuse


Per Evan Daniels of Scout and Adam Zagoria (twitter link above).

"It's just part of the business. No hard feelings," Ciarrocca said. "For a lot of reasons, we...


"It's just part of the business. No hard feelings," Ciarrocca said. "For a lot of reasons, we didn't perform as well as you would have liked."

That' way of putting it.

A mixed effort from The Atlantic


The cover story from this month's Atlantic, covering the business of college sports, is drawing a lot of praise from across the media and blogosphere. It is very well-researched, but its thesis is basically incoherent. Most athletic departments lose money. The story shouldn't be "greedy athletic departments exploit players." It should be "football and basketball players forced to subsidize non-revenue sports,"

De'Antwan Williams to transfer from Rutgers


In response to being dropped to third on the depth chart, tailback De'Antwan "Rocket" Williams is leaving the Rutgers football team. This is somewhat surprising given the family pressure Williams faced to stay at RU after last season, but an even bigger surprise was that Williams did not transfer after two seasons on a bench, given that Rutgers has signed an all-everything freshman in Savon Huggins. Huggins and Williams were roughly equal in the early going, with the main difference that Williams was two classes ahead. Backups Jeremy Deering and Jawan Jamison weren't far behind. In that sense, being demoted to third-string is not much of an insult, although it's easy to see why it may come off as frustrating. That's probably why Schiano hasn't entirely closed the door on Rocket returning. Williams has an awful lot of talent, with his main drawback thus far behind a tendency to run horizontally instead of straight-ahead. He's capable of being a quality starter and excelling elsewhere, having had the misfortune to play the same position as Savon Huggins. Losing Williams certainly hurts the team's depth in the backfield, but you won't find many Rutgers fans who aren't looking forward to Savon toting the rock full-time. Basically, all hail our new tailback overlord, and it sure would have been nice if Ray Graham's grades weren't awful three years ago.

Rutgers University announces record fundraising


Crippling budget cuts inaugurated a new era of fiscal peril for Rutgers University, and in one of his final acts as President, Richard McCormick announced one positive bit of news yesterday. Rutgers raised nearly $140 million in 2010-2011, including a record $27 million anonymous gift. McCormick will give an update on the proposed merger with UMDNJ-New Brunswick tomorrow.

Bye week reshuffling


Rutgers football won't play another game until 9/24, but that doesn't mean that the team is resting on their laurels this week. Coach Schiano is using the opportunity to experiment a little more in giving players looks at new spots. Kaleb Johnson could be in the mix on the OL. Since he's been working at right tackle, does that mean Des Stapleton shifts inside if the move sticks? It's hard to imagine Stapes sitting on the bench. His natural position is left tackle, where Andre Civil just silenced Quinton Coples for an entire game. That's not the only reshuffling under way, as freshman linebacker Kevin Snyder is drawing lots of praise, and the defensive line remains a question mark with Jamil Merrell injured. It's admittedly odd to be tinkering this much with a roster once the season started, but other teams are doing it too. It's not like Rutgers was blown out of the water last week. These aren't panic moves, if they even end up being moves; Coach Schiano is simply refusing to let the team rest on their laurels, and is determined to put the best lineup on the field.

New U.S. News college rankings released


Rutgers dropped from 64th to 68th. Part of the reason is because U.S. News's rankings are unscientific trash, and part of it is because of the ongoing budget cuts. UConn for instance jumped several spots, which is mainly attributable to their generous in-state support.

Rutgers athletics subsidy decreasing by $1 million


First came news that the Rutgers athletics budget dropped last year (although that figure only tells so much without knowing the subsidy level.) Today the Daily Targum is reporting that in light of a $10.8 million budget decrease, the Rutgers athletic department will have to reduce its subsidy level by $1 million. Which is fine; it just goes to show that the myth that Rutgers athletics is living high on the hog while the rest of the university suffers through austerity is complete fiction. Rutgers spends a minuscule percentage of its budget on subsidizing athletics; however, a good percentage of the $10.8 million cut will be borne by athletics.

The Sharrif Floyd/Damiere Byrd investigation


This is all the first many of us are hearing of this - but the Palm Beach Post is raising interesting questions about the University of South Carolina's ties to a student athlete club in Philadelphia. No idea on the implications raised, but it's worth a read. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more. Update: Byrd is officially suspended for four games.