New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Bill Would Utilize Special Auditor to Prevent Abuse of Public Funds by State Universities

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Rutgers Football Players Spent a Half Million Dollars on Food Delivery without Scrutiny

As “The State University of New Jersey,” Rutgers benefits from a significant annual infusion of public money.

Following a series of reports of questionable spending, Senator Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation to combat the abuse of public funds at Rutgers and other public colleges and university in the state.

Following a series of reports of questionable spending, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has introduced legislation to combat the abuse of public funds at Rutgers and other public colleges and university in the state. (Pixabay)

O’Scanlon’s bill, S-3243, would direct the Secretary of Higher Education to appoint a special auditor to investigate reports of public money being misused.

The legislation follows a bombshell report that lavish spending by the Rutgers Football program included more than $450,000 in DoorDash deliveries in a little more than one year. Some athletes ordered food for pets and flowers, and one placed orders in two different states on the same day.

“I’m a big fan of Rutgers football, but even loyal supporters like myself find it hard to swallow this irresponsible and unmonitored waste of taxpayer dollars,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “Since the institution can’t or won’t do more to protect our money, my bill will mandate a special auditor to serve as the people’s watchdog. We can’t tolerate taxpayers being treated as cash machines.”

In January, a report by NJ 101.5 referred to Rutgers athletics as a “huge financial failure,” and claimed Rutgers spent $118 million on athletics, yet generated only $45 million in revenue, as cited in documents the university filed with the NCAA.

The Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper, reportedly found numerous excessive expenditures including $12,500 for a “power nap” machine, $3,100 for a television for the football coaches’ office, and $4,692 for 10 laser pointer remote controls for the football staff.

“Rutgers football is spending money like a big-time program, but they aren’t bringing in big time revenue. Not yet,” said O’Scanlon. “Residents are subsidizing the university with almost a half billion dollars every year. It isn’t fair to over-taxed New Jersey families to throw this money around without accountability or oversight.”

Under O’Scanlon’s bill, any entity of a public college or university determined by the special auditor to have abused public funds would be required to repay the money to the state, plus be subject to fines for 125 percent the cost of the investigation.

The money would be used by the Secretary of Higher Education to fund future investigations.

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