Rutgers scandals cost $2.3M and counting
by Keith Sargeant, USA TODAY Sports
For all of the money Rutgers has spent trying to quell a series of controversies that continue to embarrass the school, 95 New Jersey students could have received a full scholarship for one year at the state university.
Rutgers has spent at least $2.3 million on the scandals — a figure that includes settlements, search firms and crisis management consultants.
And while that money isn’t coming out of the same pool as scholarships for a university that costs $24,400 annually for in-state students, it’s still an added cost for the publicly funded institution with an athletics department that already is the second-most subsidized in the nation.
The figures, which will undoubtedly increase, include:
- $1.2 million settlement agreement for Tim Pernetti to resign as athletics director amid the fallout of the men’s basketball scandal.
- $475,000 settlement for Mike Rice, who was fired April 2 after a videotape showed the Scarlet Knights men’s basketball coach physically abusing and berating his players in practice. While the university saved more than half of the approximately $1.1 million it was expected to owe Rice when school President Robert L. Barchi fired the coach, it was debated by legal experts that Rutgers shouldn’t been obligated to pay Rice anything considering the clause in his contract that stipulated his contract could’ve been terminated for “conduct tending to bring shame or disgrace to the university.”
- $420,000 payout to general counsel John Wolf, who was pressured to resign for his role in advising the university to suspend rather than fire Rice in December.
- $150,000 to Hill + Knowlton Strategies, a crisis management firm hired in the wake of the Rice scandal.
- $70,000 paid to Parker Executive Search, a firm the university employed to identify candidates and perform background checks during a six-week search that resulted in the appointment of embattled incoming AD Julie Hermann.
The $2.3 million doesn’t include the $575-an-hour rate the university has agreed to pay the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to conduct an independent review of its basketball coaching scandal.
And it also doesn’t account for the unknown legal fees the university will have to pay to handle the Eric Murdock lawsuit.