Bob Barchi's Big 10 Bomfog


"Our first year in the Big Ten Athletic Conference was more positive than many pundits had predicted. Scarlet Knights teams across all sports enjoyed the excitement of joining a storied and competitive conference. . . . Our fellow B1G schools . . .boast some of the nation's top programs in many sports—in fact, Big Ten teams won national titles last year in football, wrestling, rowing, women's lacrosse, women's volleyball, and women's cross country—and finished runner-up in men's basketball. . . .

It's hard to measure the full impact of our participation in the Big Ten, but we have seen a number of very positive measures—from . . . the approximately
$2.4 million worth of media exposure for Rutgers' academic programs on national television, to the 18% increase in giving to the university for Athletics and athletic scholarships. And with each year of conference membership we come closer to a full share in Big Ten television revenues, critical to moving Athletics toward financial self-sufficiency."


"2.4 Million worth of media exposure . . ."


Bradley Whitford, award-winning West Wing actor and Wesleyan University trustee:

"The whole idea of 'brand' and the way it's being manipulated is permeating everything. It's a perverting force. . . . I'll sit in Board meetings at Wesleyan, which is a place I love, and I'll hear the word 'brand' -- 'What's our brand?' We're a f---ing university, not a tube of toothpaste."

Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2015


Robert L. Barchi, president, Rutgers University:

 "Having our brand next to Michigan's brand on a million TV sets is something I couldn't possibly buy in terms of marketing."

New Jersey Monthly, June 10, 2013


Comment from a NJ news blog:

We keep circling the wagons on the same issues and themes over and over and over again. Among them:

1) RU has not had a strategic response to declining state aid beyond raising tuition.

2) The already bleak financial picture for RU got much worse now that RU is the proud owner of a med school.

3) RU can't be a serious player in athletics and in the B1G because it lacks a robust endowment and annual giving is too little to bond finance against.


4) The town of New Brunswick is depressing.

5) Elite athletes with the luxury of choice in New Jersey too often choose to go elsewhere.

6) Most of RU's living alumni graduated from institutions of Rutgers that no longer exist: this problem has big implications for fundraising.

In short: stop expecting football or the athletic department as a whole to out-perform the university as a whole. Given our situation, the results on the athletic field are actually quite consistent with where we are. And if and when the big payday comes from the B1G there is nothing to suggest that the new found bounty will deliver us to the promised land. The new funds simply replace in whole or in part the current operating subsidy.