Rutgers will cut stadium expansion plans

October, 14, 2008
10/14/08
8:13
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

In the wake of criticism over athletic spending and practices, Rutgers has implemented new levels of oversight for athletics and will seek ways to cut costs on the school's $102 million stadium expansion, according to The Star-Ledger.

The paper reports that school officials haven't been specific about how they would reduce stadium costs or if they would consider canceling the second phase of construction, but no ideas have been ruled out.

Speaking to reporters after practice Tuesday night, Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said the expansion would get done.

"It's just a matter of 'where are we going to do it more economically?' If you're going to have this facade on the side that is $4 million and pleasing to the eye -- put steel girders up. I don't care.

"People want to get in to our stadium to see us play," Schiano said. "We've got to build seats for them."

The original plans called for the addition of 13,000 seats. Schiano said perhaps the project would be scaled back to around 10,000 more seats instead.

New Jersey has been hit hard by the country's economic crisis. The newspaper reports that Rutgers' endowment has declined 10 percent and that costs for capital projects such as the stadium expansion have risen far above original projections.

Changes in oversight "include requiring a legal review of all future athletics department sponsorship deals, creating policies to ensure that contracts and other deals are not compromised by conflicts of interest, and setting up a review of all 'high-level' compensation packages to determine which require board approval," the paper said.

Schiano's contract attracted controversy this summer when The Star-Ledger reported that he had a secret $250,000 bonus added to his deal from payments not listed in the university's books.

It's been a rough few months all around in Piscataway, as the Scarlet Knights are off to a vastly disappointing 1-5 start.

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