On November 30, 2006, representatives of the cut Olympic sports, Glen Pantel and Al Maitlin (fencing), Fran McGovern and Chuck Crawford (lightweight and heavyweight crew), Bob Stanicki (tennis) and Jim Wood (swimming) met with University representatives including, among others, BOG Chairman Al Gamper, Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Chairman Ron Giaconia and Athletic Director, Bob Mulcahy. Assemblyman Tom Giblin also attended and participated in the meeting.
Jim Wood outlined a comprehensive plan designed to minimize these programs’ financial impact on Rutgers for the next three years while accumulating funds over the same three-year period with the aim of partially or fully endowing these programs at the end of three years.
The University representatives listened respectfully, asked challenging questions and provided revised financial figures which impact some of the plan’s assumptions. Although Bob Mulcahy indicated that he would consider the proposal, the general outlook remains bleak.
A single sentiment came through loud and clear from the University representatives: Your alumni are cheap, disengaged and passive, without being backed by proactive participation and significant financial contributions, their letters carry little, if any, weight. One University representative indicated that it was his practice to forward alumni letters to Scarlet R so that they could annotate them with the writer’s lifetime giving to Rutgers Athletics. In most cases he was unimpressed with what Scarlet R reported and typically dismissed their threats “to refuse to give to Rutgers in the future” as they had given little or nothing in the past.
Bob Mulcahy expressed wonder at why it took eliminating these sports to generate any activity – especially since he had advised the head coaches of these sports at least three years ago that these sports were in dire straits. He appeared to discount recent activity and contributions feeling that such activity and financial support could not be counted on in the future. University representatives also took offense at what they perceived as a reliance on Scarlet R and the football team to generate interest and income for the Olympic sports, again essentially indicating that we, as crew alumni, were obligated to keep our own house.
Chuck Crawford indicated that certain crew alumni had been holding back contributions in anticipation of a boathouse building project. Fran McGovern indicated that certain crew alumni had been holding back contributions pending a change in the head coaching position. Fran also indicated that the head coach had discouraged athlete participation in the reinstatement effort. Lastly, some of the University representatives continue to believe that some Olympic sports alumni are “against the football team”. Although this tack may have seemed attractive in a reactionary sense, the Olympic sports alumni did not go down that road and have instead supported the football program and its athletes.