One week after Senator Jim Holzapfel slammed democrat’s $100 million giveaway to Rutgers athletics, an investigation by NorthJersey.com and USA Today uncovered nearly $10 million in credit card charges made by the athletics division.
“Rutgers athletics seems to have a penchant for wasting taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” said Holzapfel (R-10). “It runs up $10 million in credit card debt, receives $100 million from democrats in the state budget, and all the while our K-12 schools face significant budget cuts and layoffs. As I’ve said before, our local schools should be funded first, period. We should not be using taxpayer dollars to bail out the athletics division yet again, especially in light of these recent credit card spending sprees. This wasteful spending is only driving the cost of college tuition higher for tens of thousands of New Jersey families who are already struggling with high taxes and inflation.”
NorthJersey.com and USA Today reviewed more than five years of credit card charges by the athletics division—which represents only a fraction of overall spending and only a partial sample of credit card spending. According to the investigation, more than 30,000 purchases were made amounting to nearly $10 million.
Some of the credit card charges are startling: $180,000 at Steakhouse 85 in New Brunswick, $400,000 over the last year on DoorDash, $120,000 at Topgolf in Edison, $31,000 for a beach party, $20,000 for a bowling outing, and at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on trips to Disney World, California, Hawaii, and Europe.
According to the NCAA, Rutgers athletics received more university support during 2020-21 than any other public university in a major conference. Despite the support, the athletics division experienced the biggest operating losses yet over the past two years, amounting to $146 million.
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“Rutgers athletics has embarked on a reckless borrowing and spending spree that has led to deficits year after year,” added Holzapfel. “This has created an unsustainable situation—hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and not nearly enough revenue to service that debt. The last thing we should be doing is providing more taxpayer dollars, which will just ensure that this type of spending continues.”
photo credit: (Pixabay)