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Rutgers Could Lose State Funding Due to Mike Rice Scandal?

A New Jersey State Senator plans to introduce a resolution to dock Rutgers University an amount in state aid equal to their payouts related to the Mike Rice scandal.

Rice, the former coach of the men’s basketball team, was fired after a video was released showing him pushing players and using homophobic and misogynistic slurs. He received a $475,000 buyout.

“The overwhelming majority of taxpayers are rightly disgusted with how Rutgers is paying off those who failed in their public roles to foster youths,” said State Senator Joe Pennacchio. “It is appalling that the University would even think it’s acceptable to give those responsible for the Coach Rice calamity some $2.1 million in departing gifts. If they want to waste money, taxpayers or students won’t be picking up the tab.”

Athletic director Tim Pernetti and university attorney John Wolf both resigned as a result of the scandal.

The resolution seeks to deny the Rutgers approximately $2.1 million in state aid and require the school to fund the payouts using administrative funds. The resolution also seeks to require school officials to report to Gov. Christie, the senate president and assembly speaker how they paid those giveaways via administrative funds and not by raising tuition or using state aid.

Under Pennacchio’s measure, the university would have to get unanimous approval from Gov. Christie, the senate president and assembly speaker prior to being paid any other state aid that they are due. New Jersey annually provides Rutgers University around $480 million per year in state aid.

“We need to establish that the people’s money will not be misspent on preposterous payouts,” explained Pennacchio. “Any entity authorizing a similar stunt can also expect to be docked an equal amount in public subsidies.”

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