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N.J. earmarks $100M in state budget for Rutgers facility projects

Part of $100M from state budget will help fund renovations to Rutgers' Jersey Mike's ArenaGetty Images

New Jersey leaders agreed to earmark $100M in taxpayer money to Rutgers in the "upcoming state budget to help fund the renovation of the state school’s aging basketball arena and kick-start a multimillion-dollar indoor football practice facility," according to a front-page piece by Johnson & Sherman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Sources said that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's administration facilitated the Rutgers deal after "meeting with school officials during the final stretch of budget negotiations with lawmakers." The bulk of the $300M added to the budget for Rutgers is "for academics and research." But the $100M in capital funding for "two long-sought athletics facilities privately rankled some lawmakers." The officials "declined to discuss the concerns on the record" as the Legislature prepares to "vote on the budget negotiated by the governor and legislative leaders." Last year, Rutgers athletics "rang up the largest deficit in school history." The university spent $118.4M to "fund its athletics program" in '21, an NJ Advance Media analysis of financial records found, running up a $73.3M deficit. Rutgers earlier this month "raised its tuition and student fees for next year by 2.9%" as part of the $5.1B '22-23 budget (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 6/29).

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