Rutgers spends record total on athletics program in 2018-19

<p>The Rutgers Athletic Center is just one of the complexes used by the Department of Athletics.</p>

The Rutgers Athletic Center is just one of the complexes used by the Department of Athletics.

The 22-team Rutgers University athletics program spent a record total during the 2018-19 school year, according to an article on NJ Advance Media.

During the 2018-19 school year, Rutgers University spent $103.2 million on athletics, according to the article. This is an increase from the $102.5 million spent during the 2017-18 school year.

The University’s athletics faced a $45.2 million deficit, according to NJ Advance Media. This was made up by $14.5 million in support from the University’s operating budget, $12.1 million in student fees, $15.4 million from an internal loan and $3.2 million in direct state or government support.

The total deficit of the athletics department was $444.5 million since the 2003-04 school year, according to the article. Since University President Robert L. Barchi took office in 2012, the total deficit was $238.4 million.

On Tuesday, newly elected Rutgers University president Jonathan Holloway said that he recognizes the financial challenges facing the athletics department.

He also said that while the debate about overspending will not go away anytime soon, successful sports teams are still important.

“There are a lot of people who are uncomfortable about the way in which the athletics has morphed over the last 25 years or so,” Holloway said. “Being part of the Big Ten (Conference) is a very competitive conference and we need to be respectable across those sports. We need to do that because nothing can convene more people at once than a really successful team.”

Rutgers University received a record $26.9 million from the Big Ten Conference, consisting of a pair of interest-free loans carried out between the University and the conference totaling $48 million, according to the article.

Rutgers University’s full-share Big Ten Conference payment will begin in 2021 after the six-year integration period, according to the article. The payment will decrease in later years, as the University must pay back the conference every year until 2027.

Groups such as the New Brunswick Faculty Council and the University's faculty union American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers, have previously spoken out about the athletics department and its funding, according to an article in NJ Advance Media.

"The severe deficits are a major concern for the entire Rutgers community," the faculty council said in a resolution last year, according to the article. "The University administration has used student fees, general University funds, loans from the University and advances from the Big Ten (Conference) to cover the deficits. But, none of these measures will right the ship."

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