Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get Outta Here '08! Howya Doin', 09!



Its been a year to remember for some reasons, and a year to forget for many others. Economically, the United States teetered on the brink of the worst catastrophe since the Great Depression. And we might not have seen the worst of it.

Then again, maybe we have.

A reason to hope- the election of America's first African- American president might be a sign that this country has yet to peak and reach its full potential. Mr. Obama restored our faith during the presidential campaign. Just maybe that faith will be justified and fulfilled during his term of office. Here's to his success- America awaits with hope, but with anxiety.





It was a year when we lost my two favorite Irish-Americans- NBC's moderator of
Meet the Press Tim Russert, and one of the men who changed comedy forever, George Carlin.













Also leaving us in 2008; Paul Newman, legendary actor, director, and sports car racer, who's philanthropy via his Newman's Own products will live after him. And Studs Terkel, author and activist, and part Chicago journalism and broadcasting for half a century, said final goodbyes in 2008.

Other notable passings this year include baseball's Bobby Murcer, Johnny Podres, Tom Tresh, and Herb Score; from football we lost Sammy Baugh, broadcaster Myron Cope, Dick Lynch, Gene Hickerson and Gene Upshaw, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes (half of the Steelers "Steel Curtain" front four); and Don Haskins, who's Texas Western team beat Kentucky for the 1966 NCAA basketball championship. And special remembrance for sports broadcasters Skip Caray, Charlie Jones, and the great Jim McKay.

Senator Jesse Helms, composer Earl Hagen, playwright Harold Pinter, chess master Bobby Fischer, auto racing's Phil Hill, and Kentucky winner Genuine Risk left us...as did Sir Edmund Hillary, the man who first conquered Mt. Everest.

Bernie Mac, Suzanne Pleshette, Estelle Getty, Dick Martin, Harvey Korman, MONK"s "analyst" Stanley Kamel.....and young Heath Ledger...and many more left us in 2008.

SANTA BABY was purred by the incredible Eartha Kitt, who ironically died on Christmas Day.

And a special moment is given to those who died while serving in our military, and patrolling our cities and highways, and protecting us from fires and disasters, both natural and man made.... thank you, and I thank your families.


Here's hoping for a happy healthy and prosperous New Year to all. We have no other way to go but up, don't we?

The older you get the more you appreciate the passage of time and the perspective it gives you. The trade off is this- with the passage comes loss, and change. And its that gift of perspective that we utilize to get over those rough spots. Hindus believe that Shiva, the Goddess of Death, is also the Goddess of Life.

Maybe they figured it out centuries ago.

Here's hoping for, in no particular order, things I want for 2009; "Joe The Plumber" never being seen or heard from again; Sarah Palin decides to become a stay at home Grandma; John McCain remains the same guy most of us grew to know and like, and not the Grumpy Old Man we saw in the election; that Bernie Madoff gets what's coming to him....but good; Rob Blagojevich gets a haircut before he's fitted for his orange jumpsuit; that Rupert Murdoch finally tells Bill O'Reilly the truth (about how Murdoch can't stand the sight of him) and fires Billo's sorry, bullying ass; that the Star-Ledger, a paper I loved for 40 years, gets "The Big One" and is put out of its misery for its attack dog stories that ruined the career of a good man like Bob Mulcahy, and...well, I'll just let it go...enough already!

And in closing.....former President George W. Bush can FINALLY have that movie set of a ranch torn down (that barn has been collapsing for EIGHT YEARS for Gawd's sake!), and he can finally get out of Crawford and give up the "good ole boy from Texas" facade. Ron Reagan, Jr called Bush on it years ago. Ron, senior, was a rancher- but it turns out that Dubya might have played the cowboy role better than Reagan ever did during his movie career.

Goodnight....good luck....and Happy New Year. We'll talk to you again in '09!


"Hugh Jee"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Opinion- I Broke My Addiction to THE STAR-LEDGER (And You Can Too!)

Today, at last, I felt that the divorce was finalized. The first thing I used to look at over my morning coffee had become a non-entity to me- I didn't want to see it, I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want it in my house. It was, like treacherous brother Fredo was to Michael Corleone, nothing to me.

My lifelong love of THE STAR-LEDGER had been broken months ago- and this morning I noticed that the love had not been replaced by hatred, but a feeling cold distance. If it lived, do it without my patronage. If it died, well....its a tough world. And when you gotta go, ya gotta go.

My problems with the newspaper are well documented. Check the archives and the tags of this blog- the stories involving the STAR-LEDGER's reporting on the Rutgers athletic department, and its relentless attacks on AD Bob Mulcahy, were, in my opinion, agenda driven and screamed of the paper's need to keep sales from tanking and to try to stay relevant in the Age of the Internet.

This morning my father asked me if I read the latest installment of "Tales of Loathsome Corruption On The Banks of the Old Raritan" in the Op-ed section of the STAR-LEDGER. I told him that I didn't....because reading their opinions on Rutgers, RU football, or Bob Mulcahy were merely a waste of my time. Why bother to read their latest slap at RU -this one, I'm told, was by Fran Wood, a person who's expertise on Rutgers sports is matched by my own on nuclear medicine, or Byzantine art.

The op-ed pages of the STAR-LEDGER, and its reporting on this subject, have been lacking in its sense of fair play and balance. And I'll take it one step further.

To paraphrase what Joseph Welch said to "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy .....the paper seems to have lost its sense of decency, and sense of shame.

All the STAR-LEDGER's Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman saw in their attacks on Rutgers and Bob Mulcahy was a story. They didn't see or care about the damage and pain done to an honorable individual who has given much to Rutgers and to New Jersey. All they saw was their meal ticket to their next gig.

There was a time when I loved the STAR-LEDGER- it has been a part of my life for more than 40 years. It was the voice of New Jersey. But now that voice has become one of twisted and biased reporting, all in a the name of what has become a malicious and self serving agenda.

Rick Malwitz, in his blog on MyCentralJersey.com,(December 24, 2008)tells a tale of a man who was set up as a "Fall Guy". And Malwitz is right on.

And Malwitz does give his take on the so called journalism of "The Voice of New Jersey"....




"Part of the unfortunate fallout of the Mulcahy dismissal is the apparent validation of attack dog journalism. "The (Star) Ledger is trying to win a Pulitzer Prize on my back," Mulcahy told the Observer-Tribune of Chester".



Now go back to that phrase...."validation of attack dog journalism". You validate the STAR_LEDGER's journalism when you buy the paper. And when you click on their stories online. Or when you drone on about their opinions on message boards. The bottom line is this- the paper's lack of fairness, its indifference to opposing opinions, and its self righteous and hypocritical indignation of "the price of bigtime college sports", somehow neglecting to mention that THE STAR-LEDGER sold a Rutgers Football coffetable book for $34.95 a pop after the 2006 season, should be troubling to the consciences of the publishers and staff. But somehow I get the idea that they have no consciences to be troubled.

Tomorrow, December 29th, the Rutgers football team will meet North Carolina State in THE PAPAJOHN"S .COM BOWL in Birmingham. Hopefully they have one more win in them....and they get this one for "Bob".

Robert Mulcahy is a man who gave so much to Rutgers that he should have a statue dedicated in his honor. Instead, RU President Richard McCormick kicked Mulcahy to the curb. All with a nod and a wink from THE STAR-LEDGER, and its "inside source(s)".

The best tribute any Rutgers fan...or any person with a sense of justice...can possibly give....is a rebuke to THE STAR-LEDGER.

Just say "no!" to them. And let a once mighty voice expire....because they haven't been New Jersey's voice for quite sometime now.

12 hours later- Just one more item to mention.

Its a little less than 3 hours to gametime for the Papajohn's.com Bowl. And here's one more item from Rick Malwitz in his gameday blog entry.

Here's an item of interest regarding a certain New Jersey newspaper and a possible candidate for the AD job at Rutgers.


"A name for permanent AD is Tim Pernetti, who does color on the Rutgers radio. I don’t know what it will do for his chances what he did at the rally last night - blowing his runny nose with a copy of the largest English-daily newspaper in New Jersey. It was when Rutgers President Dick McCormick, and members of the legislature, bought into that paper’s campaign against Bob Mulcahy, that led to Mulcahy’s unjust firing"
.

Hey Tim....I'm one blogger who loves ya, my man!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Merry Christmas To All!




Wishing a Merry Christmas to all who read and follow this blog, and a healthy and happy 2009.

In the past few weeks the focus of these pages has shifted from national news to what is still a developing story in New Jersey, that is, the ramifications of the firing of Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahy. It is my belief that, in the words of Tip O'Neill, "All politics is local", and that the Mulcahy story is not merely a story that belongs only the sports pages. This story will have an impact not only on Rutgers and Rutgers football, but on the New Jersey governor's race, and possibly impact the chances of survival for New Jersey's largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger.

In recent weeks I've been battling a flu bug...and yes, I did get a flu shot....and have been busy with the usual holiday prep. With luck, I'll be back on a more "normal" schedule with new stories, features and opinions after the holiday blitz is at the very least- controllable.

Have a great one.....and God bless all.

"Hugh Jee"

A Very Palin Christmas, The Sequel


A Very Palin Christmas, originally uploaded by WhoRU08.

Just in case you missed it the first time around.....I wonder if this is the card Sarah and Todd send to their multitudes of followers?

"Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men.....and women....and REAL Americans....not to mention any Alaskans who wants to break away from the REAL America".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rutgers Fans Versus The STAR-LEDGER.....and Some Dirty Laundry

In the ongoing saga of Rutgers fans and alumni versus the Star-Ledger for what is being called biased reporting regarding the RU athletic department and its fired director, Bob Mulcahy, a group of 200 individual supporters took out an ad that appeared in the Wednesday December 17th edition of the Star-Ledger.

Controversy occurred when the ad, which supposedly cost $8,915 for a half page ad and was to appear in the front section of the paper was relegated to page 28 in the COUNTY SECTION, and appeared below the fold.

The ad may be viewed by clicking here.

More on this controversy can be found on the pages of scarletnation.com.


More RU-Star-Ledger News

A call to boycott Star-Ledger advertisers, or to have advertisers withdraw advertising from the paper, is being organized.

On the same site, there is a post suggesting the Star-Ledger has no minorities in management. No link to verify this was given in the thread.

Finally, from MyCentralJersey.com, Maura Waters Ballard, Rutgers University's Men's and Women's Golf Coach tells it as she sees it from the inside of Rutgers sports. She gives a different opinion about the "scandal".....and offers her support to the fired Bob Mulcahy.

Wait a minute! This just in! The Home News Tribune's Rick Malwitz wrote on MyCentralJersey.com of Rutgers President Richard McCormick's dirty laundry, and the money spent to clean up his mess.

In Malwitz's words;
"Several sources told me that McCormick was confronted last week by members of the legislature, urging him to do something dramatic. Last month, findings were released by the Athletics Review Committee that analyzed the workings of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, focusing on the nitpicking charges in a series of articles this summer in the Star-Ledger.

The ARC report was harder on McCormick than on Mulcahy, and McCormick now needed a scapegoat.

Two days later, the man who was less than forthcoming when he arrived at Rutgers in 2002 fired Mulcahy, a man of integrity".




Read the rest of Rick's piece here.

I wonder of Dr. McCormick has some of this stuff on his resume....or if he has bothered to update that resume?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rutgers Nation Strikes Back!

A new site on Facebook that is flexing its muscles in defense of Rutgers University in the wake of attacks on the athletic department and the firing of AD Bob Mulcahy is growing leaps and bounds.

I GOT RUTGERS BACK is hitting on all cylinders, with news on the effort to raise money for an ad that will appear in the Star-Ledger challenging its claims against the university. Among other stories and posts are those which rebut newspaper and media stories involving Rutgers that may not be factual.

Below, the description of the group.

For decades Rutgers has been a political whipping boy for Trenton and many of the municipalities where the campuses reside. It has been an endless source of fodder for scoring cheap and unfair political points.

Don't want to enact real ethics reform? No problem, you can pretend to be a corruption fighter by attacking Rutgers. Need to balance the budget after the latest debacle? No problem, just cut higher ed.

By joining this site you pledge to hold accountable any politician that unfairly tries to make political hay at Rutgers' expense.

The site is a net-roots effort and is not affiliated with Rutgers University in any way. We will post the latest atrocities here, tell you what you can do, and keep people up to date on who currently sits atop the Rutgers wall of shame.


This group is the first entry to this blog's Links You'll Luv.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jerry Izenberg On The Mulcahy Firing

Jerry Izenberg, columnist emeritus of the Star-Ledger gives his opinion on the firing of Rutgers Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy.

Here's the link to his column, dated 12/14/2008 8:26 PM.

Mr. Izenberg is one of the most distinguished commentators on sports in the nation, and is a best selling author. His comments in this column tried to make sense of the absurdity of President Richard McCormick's dismissal of Mulcahy.

Sadly, these powerful words come too late, the damage has been done to a good man who didn't deserve this kind of exit.

And in challenging those involved at Rutgers and by its Board of Governors, Mr. Izenberg does seem to look past the fact that two Star-Ledger reporters, Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin, did write slanted reports that inferred impropriety was going on in the Rutgers athletics department. Not to mention that a scathing editorial, calling what went on a "scandal", was published by the same newspaper. No mention of those issues can be found in Mr. Izenberg's column.

Further opinions and information on this topic may be found in the archives of this blog.

WFAN Interviews Mulcahy


WFAN radio (New York) afternoon host Mike Francesa interviews fired Rutgers AD Bob Mulcahy. Click here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mulcahy Firing- The Shot Heard 'round The Banks....and Beyond

Paul Franklin, in a post on Scarlet Scuttlebutt (mycentral jersey.com) made one of the strongest statements against the firing of Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahy by RU President Richard McCormick to date.

Franklin told it like it is...........


"You have to love McCormick’s comments throughout this witch hunt".



In what will be Franklin's column in the Sunday print editions of
The Home News Tribune and The Courier News, Franklin gives his opinion of the Mulcahy situation in McCormick's Explanations Border On Absurd.

Paul Franklin has written, in my eyes, the definitive piece on the stench of what has gone on, and may well be the first member of the press to challenge the credibility of stories written in The Star-Ledger by Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman about spending on the athletic programs at Rutgers University. Links to some of these pieces may be found in the archives of this blog, as well as my comments regarding them.

Franklin echoes the sentiment of most of Rutgers fan base; that Bob Mulcahy is the scapegoat of a manufactured "scandal" that has President McCormick so afraid for his own position that he fired Mulcahy, even though no wrongdoing or no illegalities could be found by the independent audit committee that had examined the spending of the athletic department.

McCormick used a clause in Mulcahy's contract to dismiss Mulcahy- for the good of the university. No cause was needed or given.

So....a man who has served Rutgers loyally for the past ten years, and put the university's sports programs on the map was fired two weeks before Christmas because the university's president needed to distance himself from what was, for all intents and purposes, a fishing expedition by two overzealous reporters who seemed to have a personal vendetta for both Mulcahy and McCormick.

They needed a sacrifice. McCormick gave them Mulcahy.

Please, sirs, go home...and take your bloodhounds with you.

McCormick's whacking of Mulcahy was the most shocking hit in Jersey since Tony smothered nephew Christopher to death in the Heidi and Kennedy episode of The Sopranos.

Former Governor Brendan Byrne, Mulcahy's old boss, called Bob and told him that the (Mulcahy's) firing was the most unpopular termination since Harry Truman relieved General MacArthur.

One thing this firing has done- it has galvanized the Rutgers fan base. Almost to a man (or woman), the fans think McCormick belongs above Benedict Arnold and just below Judas Iscariot as "Most Notorious Betrayers of All Time".

Some may argue that Richard McCormick's name should be sent to Keith Olbermann for his Worst Person of THE YEAR list.

One thing is certain...McCormick is now damaged goods. And it doesn't matter who he brings in as his new AD. In all of my time as a fan of college sports, never have I seen such an outpouring of anger, shock, and disbelief as I've seen in a firing of an athletic director as has been the case with Bob Mulcahy. Mulcahy is a good man, and an honest man....perhaps too brutally honest for his own good,. And maybe that's what finally did him in.


In any case.....Bob Mulcahy didn't deserve to go out this way. He deserved alot better.

And more than a few alums and fans feel ashamed of the shallow and classless way he was shown the door by the university's president.

Rutgers Fan Sticks It To STAR-LEDGER On Mulcahy Firing

Caller Bruce from Plainfield tells it like it is regarding Bob Mulcahy's firing to The Star-Ledger's Brian Donohue, from Ledger Live..


Note! Cannot Embed Video- Use Link Below

Click Here!

More fan reactions from ScarletNation.com

Click Here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rutgers Nation Reacts to Mulcahy's Firing



For some perspective and reactions from Rutgers fans, students, and alumni to AD Bob Mulcahy's firing I've decided to list some letters and posts from Scarlet Nation.Com.

This list will be updated and added on to, and will include only the screen name of the original poster.




From RU848789- a letter to Rutgers President Richard McCormick

Dr. McCormick - I'm extraordinarily disappointed in your move to fire Bob Mulcahy, one of the best AD's in the country (as per his recent award) and, by far, the best AD Rutgers has ever seen. As a result, you have lost my support as President of the University, although that will not stop me from continuing to support the university and its athletic programs, as I would never do anything to endanger them. However, endangering them is, unfortunately, what you have done by firing the man who had the vision to bring in Greg Schiano as football coach and the dedication and creativity to help build a football program which is going to its 4th straight bowl and which will soon have a beautiful 56K seat stadium, in addition to the numerous improvements he has overseen in other sports, such as women's basketball, wrestling and (hopefully) men's basketball.

I also wanted to tell you a little bit about myself, in order to show you that I'm not just some wild-eyed, "win at all costs" superfan, but rather, I cherish Rutgers's academics, traditions and wonderful achievements, as well as its recent athletic accomplishments. To refresh your memory, we met several times in the 1980s, at Will Weinberg's house (for the RU fans, he was a Rutgers Labor Relations prof for ~40 years and co-founder of the NJ Jazz Institute), as I eventually married his daughter. My name is Erik Dienemann and I daresay you'd be hard pressed to find a more Loyal Son of Rutgers than I. After graduating from Washington Twp HS in 1980, as class valedictorian, I chose Rutgers over Princeton and Cornell - much to the surprise of many - based mostly on the warm atmosphere I encountered amongst the students and faculty on my campus visit, as opposed to the often arrogant attitude I observed at those other "top" schools.

I then went on to obtain my BS and MS in chemical engineering at Rutgers, followed by completing the first interdisciplinary PhD at Rutgers, combining chemical eng'g, environmental law and public policy. I loved my time on the Banks, both academically and socially, but I always yearned for more athletic success and always wondered why it seemed so unattainable, which seemed crazy, as Rutgers was a huge State University with plenty of resources.

Since then, I've spent the last 20 years at Merck in the chemical engineering R&D area, developing processes to make the active pharmaceutical ingredients in novel drug candidates. In our department of ~150, there are about 20 Rutgers grads and we've done quite well, as 5 of the 8 members of our senior staff, including me, are Rutgers grads. Not bad for a school that often doesn't get the respect it deserves from the other department members, who are almost exclusively from top Ivy League and Big Ten programs.

In addition, for the past several years I've been in charge of recruiting chemical/biochemical eng'g interns and new full-time hires from Rutgers for all of Merck and I can tell you the difference in attitude and pride amongst the students is palpable over the past few years and much of this is due to the success of the football program - in fact, I always open my info sessions with a few icebreaking pix of me at various football games from the past few years, immediately making a connection with many of the students.

Given that recruiting students from great universities, like Rutgers, is the lifeblood of companies like Merck, I have a vested interest in retaining and enhancing the value of a Rutgers degree and while we might not like the emphasis that society places on athletic success, nothing has done more to enhance the value of a Rutgers degree, in my opinion, than the recent success of the Rutgers football team. Rutgers students have more pride than they ever did and I get more respect than I ever did - in fact, I've gone from two season tickets to football games during the Graber/Shear eras to now having 12 season tickets, of which 9 are spoken for by coworkers (all with advanced degrees in chemical eng'g from other institutions), who really enjoy going to quality football games. And I'm so proud, not only for the team's success on the gridiron, but for how that success has been accomplished off the field, as evidenced by our stellar APR and the countless examples of community involvement and great citizenship by our student athletes.

Which brings me back to my original point. None of this would have been possible without the vision of Bob Mulcahy in hiring an unknown young, "Jersey Guy" ooach, in Greg Schiano, and then the dedication, savviness and creativity of both of these men (and countless others) in building a wonderful, high-achieving program that is poised for even bigger successes. Therefore, I am bitterly disappointed in your knee-jerk decision to fire Mr. Mulcahy, largely, I think, based on relentless pressure from a single board member who doesn't even live in New Jersey and isn't a Rutger grad, and his journalistic minions, who take the flimsiest stories and make them appear to be scandals - your own audit certainly found that oversight could be improved, but FOUND NO WRONGDOING on the part of the AD.

At this point, I don't know if the firing can be undone, but I like to think that you are mature enough to stand up and admit that you made a mistake (hey, we all do) and reinstate Mr. Mulcahy as AD. You will regain my support if you do so. Thank you for your consideration.




From 1984 to Dr. McCormick

Dear President McCormick,

You sir are supposed to be a leader. You sir are supposed to be very smart. I am completely embarrassed and disappointed by the decision to remove Bob Mulcahey (and we all know that is exactly what happened...many of us ARE smart Rutgers Grads).
I have been abused by friends, co-workers, and relatives for much of my adult life thanks to a Rutgers athletics program that has more than struggled and under achieved. What has happened for and to this University over the last few years has proved it out. IT IS THE FOOTBALL TEAM. And this program has risen the whole of the University and the State of New Jersey with it..

You let two young guys with a mark to make, an ax to grind, and some other more local folks with agendas force you into an action I think is poor at best. And frankly sir, I would think that as someone who was "supported" by the Rutgers community shortly after coming back to the banks under some embarrassing circumstances, you'd show more loyalty, understanding, and leadership.

Where things go from here is CRITICAL. We finally are near the top of the mountain. And we are doing it right. Maybe not perfect, but right. For god's sake, stand up for yourself, for the University, for the Football Team AND TO THOSE WHO DON'T WANT THE SUCCESS CAUSE IT MEANS THEY WERE WRONG. And you should have stood up for Bob sir.

31 Years of being Mr. Rutgers to my friends and family are at stake. The R on my cars, my office door, the front of my house, and clothes I wear don't need to be there. If you let them take this away from us after the years and years of struggles it would be the end. I do not have any more time to invest in a building process or a strategy of hope. If you think trading a Positive, Successful, and Empowering Football Program for a few small Olympic Sports teams is the key to success. Than I am floored. And once again we tear down the greater good for the noisy outspoken special interests. The "my kids has a RIGHT to row at Rutgers, and my kid has a RIGHT to swim at Rutgers" generation. Well maybe we should have these opportunities, but no sir. Not at the expense of this Football Program if that is what it means. All you need to do is get your butt out on the roads and into the parking lots and shopping centers and look at the "R"s and all the pride! We ar e now New Jersey and New Jersey is us. The Star Ledger sells papers. They are not New Jersey.

We are a school of Loyal Sons and there are people "dying for dear old rutgers" everyday. In the way we put it on the line for this school in our everyday lives. We are the school proving the so called "experts" were wrong and you COULD win at Rutgers. And you could do it with our own Jersey kids wanting to stay home. Great kids and Great students. How in god's name can you walk away from this or weigh the body of work of the situation and say this has been wrong? Be smart sir. Be the leader. Now that they can't beat us up on the field of play, or take our kids to play in their states, or call them stupid jocks, or tell them they can't win...do not sir let them win by attacking us and breaking us up.




From RUfootballGIRL to Dr. McCormick

Dr. McCormick,

I am writing to express my intense dissatisfaction with your decision
today to fire one of Rutgers' most loyal defenders, Mr. Robert Mulcahy. I
am extremely disheartened, as well, because you seem to have made this
decision unilaterally without taking into account the views of the very
people you are accountable to - the students.

Bending to the recent media pressure was the wrong choice and is one we
will begin paying for immediately. It shows weakness among the ranks of
the Scarlet Knights at a time when we should be standing together to fight
for support and funding. You, above all others, know the good our recent
football success has done for this university; it is your responsibility
to project that to Trenton and to the rest of NJ, not to blindly follow
their bending will back and forth in return for budget cuts and negative
campaigns.

The recent negative media windstorm surrounding our Athletic Department
is, at best, falsely skewed and, at worst, libelous. Above all else, the
long existing negative coverage of our university has hurt our cause and
taken much from our students and it is your responsibility to protect us.
You have not sufficiently publicly addressed the falsehoods projected
almost daily by the Star Ledger; you have not publicly admonished the
Board of Governors member who is so willingly providing classified
information to those with nothing but our worst interests at heart. You
have FAILED to perform your most fundamental of duties.

George Zoffinger is the worst thing to happen to this university for a
long time. You should have listened to the students in 2004 when we told
you we didn't want him. His unethical and cold business practices have no
place at an institution of higher learning. Our sole interest as a
university should be our students; his sole interests are his bottom line
and personal vendettas. If you are now aligning yourself with the likes
of Mr. Zoffinger, I am sorry, but I, as a student, stand against you. We
are 40,000 strong and are tired of being put last. We want what's best
for us, and if you are bending to political pressure from the corrupt
government in place in Trenton, you are no longer it.

Please Dr. McCormick, rethink your position. We need a strong, unified
Rutgers. We cannot stand alongside corrupt government officials. We need
to fight for what is best for us, and a strong Athletics Department with a
nationally recognized football and basketball program is at the top of the
list. Rutgers has been a top research university for years, and our place
as such is only getting stronger. But in the 3 years since the football
team's reemergence, more good has come to us than DECADES of research
grants could ever give. No, that does not mean sports are more important,
just that they are also important and that, as a student, we want to be at
the top - at ALL levels.




To THE RECORD's Aditi Kinkhabwala from pratyk

Hi Aditi,

I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for the unbiased view of things surrounding the dismissal of Bob Mulcahy. This entire series of events was nothing but a cheap shot from McCormick and Zoffinger, with McCormick's flip flop on Mulcahy being one of the cheapest moves in the history of cheap politics at RU. Thank you for not being an agenda machine like those two jerks viz. Margolin and Sherman .. who survived on bits and pieces of information strategically thrown at them by Zoffinger. They came out with the story of Bob stepping down but when Bob refuted that via his short and simple disclaimer on scarletknights.com, they quickly edited the story to "Bob was fired" instead of writing a new one or mentioning an update to the story (as you usually do if something changes during the course of the events). I hope Gov. Corzine & Mr. Codey have a say in this and make sure that the agenda machine does not succeed. Can there not be any coverage of about Zoffinger's murky dealings and manipulations ? not just RU but Xanadu as well .. i mean how can a person, who doesn't live in NJ to avoid paying taxes here and who's a Penn State Donor (with an endowed scholarship) get to be on the Board of governors, who can have his daughter be the cheerleaders coach and whose son bids for the reconstruction project, with obvious conflicts of interest be on the BOG ?!!!

If you're in touch with Luicci or Politi, maybe you can ask them why the story about the APRs this year never made it to their newspaper. Anything related to RU football should get the some coverage if not the same coverage as other topics.

It would be the best thing in the chain of events if someone attempted an expose on Zoffinger / McCormick nexus and get the true facts out there .. because the people of NJ are just being fed wrong information by the Trentonians and Star Ledger (or should i say Star Liar) and the truth is buried down somewhere. Sometimes, I feel i got out of NJ on the right time .. To quote Chris Rock, I'm tired tired tired of this $hit ..

Good bye and Good luck. Thank you for everything.

Go RU !!



And ADITI's Take On The Firing (Originally From THE RECORD)

Bob Mulcahy hasn't yet said anything publicly, or even, apparently, much privately. I've been told that he's absolutely distraught over this and that the scene at his house last night was, understandably, not pretty. But now here's the question: is Bob going to fight this?

My phone's been ringing, with irate - and stunned - supporters on the other end, and my inbox is packed with messages voicing much the same. Even the folks who aren't opposed to the idea of a new athletic director (perhaps one who can charm mega dollars out of donors) are offended by the manner in which this went down.

If someone absolutely had to take a fall, could President McCormick not have at least given Bob until the end of this school year? His contract ends at the end of 2009-10 school year, so his departure would be a year early, but that would provide some transition time, Rutgers wouldn't be rushed into a search for a replacement and everyone could save a little face. Or, if McCormick couldn't wait that long, could he at least have let Bob announce his own resignation, instead of telling a reporter about it, mere hours after blindsiding Bob with a demand for that resignation? But no, that's not what happened. As one long, long, longtime Rutgers supporter and one-time trustee told me this morning, "McCormick's acting like a man trying to save his own butt."

Hmmm. Let's recap a little. This whole hullaballo started this summer, in late July, when two reporters at The Star-Ledger found out about an add-on to Greg Schiano's contract, one that sent him an additional $250,000 via Nelligan Sports Marketing. The money went to a limited liability company, something the vast majority of football coaches have, and when this news broke I very plainly said the scandal was not in the additional money itself, but in the lack of public announcement of the deal. This is a state university, there's supposed to be transparency, I get that. Interestingly enough, I was told by two people yesterday, one in the athletic department and one out, that not only did president McCormick know of this add-on, but that it was his call to scuttle a press release, that he didn't want it advertised that Rutgers had a $2 million coach. Okay, fine.

Then, on July 23, McCormick was quoted telling those same reporters that Greg's contract also had an addendum whereby, if the stadium expansion wasn't completed, he'd be absolved of paying any buyout penalty if he left Rutgers. Well, there was NO such clause. NONE. The president was wrong, the document didn't exist and Bob refused to call the president a liar. His response was so darn careful, it didn't clarify anything and it didn't help his cause. But it kept the president from looking ignorant.

The ensuing confusion led to the creation of the independent panel to review the department, as we've mentioned repeatedly that panel absolved Bob of any wrongdoing and instead cited McCormick and the Board of Governors for its lack of oversight. And now it's Bob's head that's rolling. McCormick still hasn't unequivocally said Bob is fired, Bob's statement last night said, "I have not offered my resignation," and I really don't see how anyone's going to come out of this looking okay.

The Board of Governors meets tomorrow morning. The athletic director isn't on the agenda, but I know of several moves right now to try to get him on the agenda, so that members of the Rutgers community may speak during the public portion of the meeting. What are your thoughts? Should Bob's supporters try to fight this? Or is this a done deal and is it time to look forward, to the next AD?






From RC1978 to Dr. McCormick

President McCormick

I still remember to this day how your father called me into his office and gave me the courage to get through school since I was going through a rough time because of the loss of a loved one. My son is now a freshman at Rutgers School of Engineering and I am proud to see the dorm named after your father every time I go over to Busch campus.

But tonight your father probably has a tear in his eye because of your actions. You have let thousands of true sons of Rutgers down with your firing of the AD, just so you can play politics with Trenton. You should be ashamed.




From Big East Beast to McCormick

Dear Dr. McCormick,

I wholeheartedly disagree with the termination of Bob Mulcahy as Rutgers' Athletic Director. He has acted appropriately and performed admirally in his tenure at RU and will be sorely missed.

I also would like to voice my concern over the fact that Mr. Zoffinger appears to have such influence over affairs related to Rutgers while neither being an alum of Rutgers nor a resident of New Jersey.


From JoeRU0304 to McCormick

Mr. President:

As a young alumnus of Rutgers University I give thanks each and every day for the education and training Rutgers provided me in the field of social work. I will always be a proud Rutgers graduate. That being said, I have never in my life been more disappointed in the leadership in our university than I am right now with the shameful treatment of our Athletic Director, Mr. Robert Mulcahy. As an alumnus I am deeply embarassed about the decision to fire Bob Mulcahy and by the way you and our administration handled this situation. Sometimes they say the right decisions aren't always popular, but let me assure you- you all have NOT made the right decision. Without throwing too many wild accusations around, let me say this: I think there is no place for personal vendettas on our Board of Governors. I offer my full support for Mr. Mulcahy and Head Football Coach Greg Schiano. Bob, our student-athletes, our students, our friends and our alumni all deserve much better than this.



From RUJohnny99 to McCormick

President McCormick,

As a proud alumnus of Rutgers University, I would like to register my disgust at your actions in regards to the firing of Bob Mulcahy today. The man has dedicated the last ten years to improving the public image of Rutgers and instilling a sense of pride in the State University throughout New Jersey. Yet for all of his hard work you couldn't even give him the dignity of a proper retirement. He had to be thrown out as a pawn to appease the numerous Rutgers haters that are trying to destroy everything that is good with this University.

I would expect as President of the University, you would be above the bickering of a political appointee of a disgraced governor and ignore the two writers at a dying newspaper who ruin people as a bizarre form of sport. I pray that today's events do not mark a change in direction from you and the University, and you are still dedicated to enhancing the image of Rutgers across the state and across the nation




Note; In certain instances spelling was corrected in these emails and posts via "Spellchecker". All the words and opinions posted were those of the original authors.


From Metropolitans3 to Dr McCormick

Dr. McCormick,

I find your recent actions regarding our Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy as well as your indifference towards the slanderous articles in the Star Ledger to be disheartening, and on your behalf, cowardly. I spent four years (03-07) on campus, and in that time I felt that we had a president with a vision and will to make Rutgers that best it can be reagardless of political pressure. I have seen a campus revitalized and a state (looked upon poorly by the rest of the country) stand tall and proud. I saw a team, not the football team, but the President, AD, and football coach take the reputation and image of my great university to new heights.

Regrettably, due to either a non-existent PR department or a poorly run PR department, the Star-Ledger was allowed to run rampant, publishing half truths and swaying the state residents' opinions regarding the university and athletic department. (On a side note, I've had more people come to me and complain about the state's use of tax payer money for stadium, a Star Ledger "fact", than I can count.) I am disappointed with the lack of public statements regarding all issues, as I feel the university refuses to stand up for itself.

I want to know where my president went, the one I defended regardless of personal problems, the one with a vision and will to make my university great. It was clear from the published reports that it was the president and BoG that gave the athletic department too much control, yet Bob Mulcahy still acted responsibly. Maybe the department was not as transparent as it should be, but that does not fall on Bob Mulcahy. It is time for you to stand up to the politicians and set the record straight, or else you should be the scape-goat, you should take the fall.

I will always stand by my university, I will always be proud of my alma mater, but I will no longer stand by you.


From WRSUSports2002 to Dr. McCormick

Dear President McCormick,

My time spent at Rutgers University (as the cliche' goes) was the time of my life. It was a time when I was able to study history (a true love in my life) and cover the Rutgers athletic program at WRSU and RUTV. I have been through the worst with Rutgers, the end of Kevin Bannon's years at RU, the end of Terry Shea, Tent State University protests, and numerous other events and times that cast a poor shadow on our state's flagship university.

I don't think any situation though, has caused my alma mater so much of a black-eye as the events of the past six months and the way this entire situation has been handled. For Bob Mulcahy to be the scapegoat in this entire situation baffles my Rutgers educated mind. He has brought Rutgers from the LAUGHING STOCK of college athletics to a level of respect and admiration. While I have no doubt there may have been miscues along the way, I do believe he did a fine job.

And now here we stand with Mr. Mulcahy out as the AD and Rutgers athletics at a crossroads. While I don't think my email/letter could get his job back (in fact if my words had that much pull, I am in the wrong line of work), I hope it can push you to keep on the course he laid out. Rutgers football, and the athletic program as a whole, is a great addition to RU and to the STATE. Though this state seems to major in self loathing and minor in masochism at times, it needs a university that it can be proud of for academics AND athletics.

I think they can co-exist at the highest level. I hope YOU can push Trenton to provide more funding. I hope YOU can find a new Athletic Director who has experience at "big-time" athletics. And I hope YOU can find the intestinal fortitude to stand up to those beating down the door to draw back on stadium expansion, to pare down athletics spending, and bring Rutgers back to the "good ol' days".

President McCormick, I interviewed you several times while at Rutgers and you always were quite gracious and amenable. I hope the perception I had in college was correct and this is simply a bump in the road. I look forward to seeing you at the RAC.

Bob Mulcahy- "Thrown Under The Bus"



The official party line presented by Rutgers University President Richard McCormick was that Robert Mulcahy would step down as the university's athletic director at the end of December.

But the following statement by Mulcahy can be found on the Rutgers University Athletics website.

“I was asked to resign. I have not offered my resignation.”


A full account of the events leading up to and including Mulchay's firing can be found here, from MyCentralJersey.com. In addition, a related post from this blog on the Star-Ledger pieces that led to Mulcahy's firing are on this page.

David Harris, who was on the RU Board of Governors from 2001 to 2006 said the following about the situation;


"They were going to throw him under the bus as the water rose under McCormick's neck,'' Harris said. "But Bob Mulcahy, say whatever you want to say about him, is a company guy. In my six years on the Board of Governors, I never knew Bob Mulcahy to take an independent action, that is an action without approval of Dick McCormick. In a sense they were Siamese twins. Bob Mulcahy, he and I vigorously disagreed on many things, but in his relations with members of the Board of Governors, he was always a gentleman. And if you asked him a question he would give you an honest answer.''



Head football coach Greg Schiano said the following about Mulcahy

"The partnership Bob and I had is one I will forever cherish. Bob is a man of integrity and loyalty."



More from Greg Schiano can be found here.


My Opinion: Bob Mulcahy did was he was charged to do. He took an ailing athletic program, with a football team that was honestly a national joke, and made it matter to the state of New Jersey, and to RU alums throughout the world. There was no oversight in his spending, but he was told to fix the problem, to do whatever it takes. And he did. An independent audit of the program found a lack of oversight, but no criminality in Mulcahy's actions as Rutgers athletic director.

The Star-Ledger's investigative team of Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin's was, in my opinion, slanted and seemed to have one aim- to get Mulcahy and McCormick fired at Rutgers. The editorial board at the Star-Ledger proclaimed Mulchay's activities as "scandals", though no laws were ever broken.

If there is a scandal to be found, consider this; during the height of 2006's "Rutgers Mania", when the football team went 11-2, the Star-Ledger was firmly on the bandwagon. And they made more than a few bucks from the football program's success.

After the 2006 season ended the Star-Ledger published a commemorative book, Rutgers; An Amazing Season, which they sold for $34.95 a pop. To the best of my knowledge, in none of the investigative pieces by Sherman and Margolin, nor in any of the editorials blasting Rutgers football, Rutgers athletics, and AD Bob Mulcahy did the Star-Ledger ever "fess up", and disclose that they too profited from Rutgers success.

Just how much money did the paper make from the sale of that book? That is a mystery...maybe Margolin and Sherman can check that out next.

If Rutgers athletics was out of control, didn't the paper help fan the flames? They did more than report stories. They made more than a few bucks from the fans of RU football. And after they got their slice of the pie, they decided to become defenders of the integrity of college sports.

The hypocrisy of the Star-Ledger making money from a successful Rutgers football team from book sales in 2007, and its aim to oust the architect of that success in 2008 for reasons that frankly seemed personal, is beyond sad.

Its reprehensible.

As former NFL coach Dan Reeves used to say...."Whenever you point a finger, there's three more pointing back at you."

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Letter To The Editor Worth Sharing

On the ScarletNation.com website a contributor posted the letter to the editor he composed countering the charges levelled by the Star-Ledger of "scandal" perpetrated by Rutgers University and its athletic department.

Since the paper will probably never publish this letter because it challenges their motives and findings in their investigations, I will publish it here.
To the Editor:

Thursday nights’ blowout win by Rutgers football provides an opportunity to reflect on the state of the athletics program, the university, and politics in NJ. We live in a state where corruption and bad government are so rampant that accusations of scandal are just assumed to be true. And we expect many talking heads and public figures to pile on if it suits them, regardless of the facts.

Often it is justified, sometimes it isn’t. That is why we have journalistic organizations whose job it is to sort reality from appearance. Actual wrongdoing should be punished in the court of public opinion, but innocents who are caught in the “appearance of wrongdoing” shouldn’t.

Your paper’s series of stories and editorials concerning the Rutgers athletics program is based on the fact that there was little oversight. This provided the opportunity for corruption and mismanagement, and in NJ this usually results in corruption and mismanagement. However, there was no actual mismanagement or corruption found by you or anyone else. To the contrary, considering where the program was in the 1990s, the success of Rutgers athletics, on and off the field, is by any objective measure a stunning feat of competence.

The Star Ledger’s role as a crusading muckraker in NJ is needed, but you lose credibility when you act like just another player on field by ignoring the facts and piling-on when you smell blood in the water.





The original webpage that includes this letter may be found here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quick Hits- December 4, 2008; The Last Jab is for....


....WFAN in New York's Mike Francesa, who just a few moments ago proved something to me....

That his knowledge of Rutgers football is about equal to, but not exceeding, the ability of a certain President of the United States to find WMD's.

Hey Mike.....before you go on the air with RU play by play man Chris Carlin, wouldn't help to actually watch a few games?

Francesa is right on when it comes to many subject. But it becomes clear that his only "smarts" about Rutgers football and its players comes from the sports pages of the New York tabloids.

Excuse me, I have to run...

There's a football game to see in a few hours.

UPDATE!

Rutgers smashed Louisville 63-14, with quarterback Mike Teel passing for a team single game record 447 yards and tied a BIG EAST record with 7 touchdown passes on a game shown nationally on ESPN.

Of course....Mike Francesa was a no show.

Quick Hits- December 4, 2008


Here's few observations on the state of things over the past week (or two). The names will not be changed because there is so little innocence to go around.

(1) The slaughter in Mumbai- a sobering reminder of what a dangerous place the world can be. The twisted logic of the fanatics behind this atrocity is simply mind boggling; submit to their corrupted view of one of the world's most important religions, or die. The assaults left 173 dead, perhaps 1,000 or more wounded, many others emotionally scarred. And still leftover bombs are being found in the city, and India's lack of preparedness against terrorist attacks has been exposed. The thoughts and prayers of all will be with those affected during this holiday season.

(2) Plaxico Burress (pictured)- This has been coming for months. He's been a distraction to the New York Giants all season with his attitude that team rules are applicable to all others except to Plaxico. When that gun went off wounding Burress in a New York night club a tragedy unfolded rather quickly. Super Bowl hero Burress went from being a nuisance to being an accused felon, drawing in involvement of teammate Antonio Pierce in what could be a cover up of the incident- not to mention the non report of a gunshot wound to police by the attending physician, the leaks of a patient's treatment by a hospital, the remarks made by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg that could potentially taint a jury pool (if the case goes to trial), and possible involvement by Giants front office in damage control before the story hit the press (at this stage, this point is an unsubstantiated rumor). Burress's career with the Giants is over. Maybe it should have ended before it ever got to this point.

(3) David Bloom in at Meet The Press, and Miles O'Brien out at CNN. Personally I would have loved to have seen Mike Barnicle (Tim Russert's best friend and a tremendous columnist) take over MTP, but Bloom may be a solid choice. O'Brien's departure from CNN comes in the aftermath of the consolidation of the network's science division. He was there for 16 years, and will be missed.

(4) As I type this, the representatives of the Big Three automakers are before the Senate banking subcommittee asking for funds to remain solvent. Supposedly the automakers arrived on Capitol Hill in hybrids, and some have offered to work for $1 a year. Maybe the honchos in Detroit felt the pulse of the American people in articles and letters like this one. Its not "What would Jesus do?"...its "how would Iacocca handle this?"

(5). Finally....tonight, its Rutgers vs. Louisville at RU Stadium. A win by Rutgers will insure a bowl game, the 4th in four years for RU. This has never been done in the 140 year history of the program. Its even more remarkable because the team was 1-5 as the first half of the season concluded, and has gone 5-0 since. The play that turned it around was a missed field goal by UCONN that bounced off the uprights as time expired, insuring a 12-10 Rutgers win. Hats off to the Rutgers football team, Coach Greg Schiano, and a special shout out to quarterback Mike Teel, who went from the target of "boo birds" to the subject of a story in Sports Illustrated last week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Educators Read My Stuff? Who Woulda Thunk It?

Well, I guess its just about time for me to start writing something of substance, after this prolonged period of playing catchup after a week out of town and away from this blog.....

And I'm going to have to be on my toes regarding spelling and grammar as well.

Because....it seems this blog has found favor with some teachers from The Big Apple!

Yes, VERY surprisingly, this blog has found its way into the POLITICAL BLOG LINKS of Education Notes Online, a blog described as "The education/politics scene in New York City and beyond, focusing on the UFT and the NYC Department of Education."

Thank you very much...I feel honored.

Now.....where did I put my Thesaurus?

And, I promise, I'll be back in normal routine tomorrow....the dog ate the last thing I wanted to post.

I'm BACK!!!!!!

Cancel the pictures on those milk cartons!

I'm back from a one week plus hiatus over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had a great time, thank you!

And I'll be back with my usual schtick very shortly....there's alot to talk about and comment on

Until then....enjoy this clip of Aerosmith!



Cuz I'm....Back in the Saddle Again!
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