Rutgers University earned a distinction that won't thrill its students this year. After a losing football season, the school saw a revenue drop that forced it to seek alternate fund for its athletics budget. In the end, students shouldered the costs in the form of fees and general university funding.
Nearly $1,000 per student went to football this year, according to a Bloomberg report. Rutgers isn't necessarily a unique case; 33 of the nation's biggest college football programs are money losers. Nevertheless, the university set itself apart this year by directing $28.5 million into sports from its overall budget and students fees.
Rutgers President Richard McCormick cited "positive branding, exposure and visibility for our university and the State of New Jersey” as reasons for the big money that gets poured into football.
A faculty vote on March 30 resulted in a demand that Rutgers cut $5 million from its athletics budget over the next few years, so not everyone on campus seems to be convinced that they're getting a return on their investment. As state university budgets around the country continue to struggle, this issue is likely to be on the table well into the future.