Rutgers Athletics Blew $10 Million on Lavish Spending While Public Schools at Shore Short Changed

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TRENTON, NJ – After state Democrats gave another $100 million to the Rutgers athletic program, a USA Today report detailed over $10 million in lavish and extreme spending on its athletes, including lobster dinners, expensive hotels, luxury travel and expensive gifts.

Now, New Jersey legislators are slamming state Democrats for feeding the public university’s overindulgence as the public school systems here at the Jersey Shore struggle.

James Holzapfel, a senator at the shore said local schools should be funded before college athletes are given all-expense paid lavish trips to Paris and London, a golden throne, Broadway tickets, seafood towers and Delmonico steaks.

“Rutgers athletics seems to have a penchant for wasting taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” said Holzapfel (R-10). “It runs up $10 million in credit card debt, receives $100 million from democrats in the state budget, and all the while our K-12 schools face significant budget cuts and layoffs. As I’ve said before, our local schools should be funded first, period. We should not be using taxpayer dollars to bail out the athletics division yet again, especially in light of these recent credit card spending sprees.”

Holzapfel highlighted the following in a press release today: and USA Today reviewed more than five years of credit card charges by the athletics division—which represents only a fraction of overall spending and only a partial sample of credit card spending. According to the investigation, more than 30,000 purchases were made amounting to nearly $10 million.

Some of the credit card charges are startling: $180,000 at Steakhouse 85 in New Brunswick, $400,000 over the last year on DoorDash, $120,000 at Topgolf in Edison, $31,000 for a beach party, $20,000 for a bowling outing, and at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on trips to Disney World, California, Hawaii, and Europe.

According to the NCAA, Rutgers athletics received more university support during 2020-21 than any other public university in a major conference. Despite the support, the athletics division experienced the biggest operating losses yet over the past two years, amounting to $146 million.

“Rutgers athletics has embarked on a reckless borrowing and spending spree that has led to deficits year after year,” added Holzapfel. “This has created an unsustainable situation—hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and not nearly enough revenue to service that debt. The last thing we should be doing is providing more taxpayer dollars, which will just ensure that this type of spending continues.”