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Rutgers Athletics spends $130,000 on hotel rooms for football team

<p>Rutgers Athletics spent $132,480 on hotel rooms and services for the football team. If they used Rutgers facilities, the school would charge about the same for rooms.</p>

Rutgers Athletics spent $132,480 on hotel rooms and services for the football team. If they used Rutgers facilities, the school would charge about the same for rooms.

Hotel rooms, breakfast and a daily maid service were included in the three week training camp for Rutgers football players, which cost Rutgers Athletics up to $132,480.

Using a hotel for training camp is a standard practice for many schools, said Chris Ash, Rutgers football head coach, NJ Advance Media reported. More than 100 players and faculty spent 21 nights at a Piscataway hotel in August.

In the past, Rutgers University charged the Athletic Department $122,407 for Rutgers football players to stay in residence halls. Under Ash, the expenses increased about $10,000.

Student fees were not used to cover this expense, said Hasim Phillips, associate athletic director for Communications.

“This expense was covered under the football team's operating budget," he said.

The football team is a revenue-generating sport, with profits coming from ticket sales, merchandise, concessions and other sources, he said. This allowed the team to rent hotel rooms for the camp.

The hotels included larger beds than Rutgers residence halls, air conditioning, security and maid service, NJ Advance Media reported.

Phillips said there regardless of whether the team is staying in on-campus residence halls or a hotel, there would be a cost. Because Rutgers charges Athletics for rooms during the summer, the money spent in the summer differs from previous training camp costs by around $10,000.

If the team were to stay in a residence hall, they would need to spend money on security forces, which would end up as an additional charge anyway, he said.

Ash made this change to make the players “feel better” and to keep the team together during training, NJ Advance Media reported.

“They are in a clean room with clean towels and air conditioning. And the security is better. There's no way that they're getting out after curfew. If you look at this football team last year, when did the wheels start to fall off? In training camp. We're not going to let that happen, and the players have embraced that,” Ash told NJ Advance Media.

Keeping the team together in a controlled environment is crucial during training camp, Ash told NJ Advance Media.

Ash said having the team together in a hotel increases productivity, decreases risk and allows him to watch over players and ensure they are taking care of themselves.

Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.

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