Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rutgers Football - Again in the News

Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin of the Star Ledger recently reported that a special university commission found that the athletic department at Rutgers University was allowed to operate without oversight by board of governors or the president of Rutgers.

You might remember that Rutgers recently eliminated 6 varsity sports (including sports which had yielded many an Olympian from Rutgers, including rowing) in its effort to create a football dynasty. The Star Ledger reports that the annual football program budget, which was $7.5 million in 2003, is now over $15 million and accounts for more than half of the total athletic department budget.

School officials, probably sheepishly, acknowledged that the football program (like 80% of all collegiate football programs according to the NCAA) still loses money. In addition - in an effort to keep coach Greg Schiano from leaving Rutgers, the University also rushed into constructing a $102 million dollar stadium, which is undergoing its own investigation by the comptroller for the State of New Jersey.

The Star Ledger outlines several expenses that the football team incurs, including the remarkable line item of having the football team sleep at a Hyatt Hotel before all home games. That's right, folks - home games.

Here is the irony. I remember being housed before the Olympic Games - in the Olympic Village in Barcelona. The Village had no air conditioning and was built over a highway. Swimmers (who had competed early) shouting at 2 in the morning.

No Hyatts for us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Old Lady with Baseball Bat

You can not make this stuff up. This week's gold star has to go to 86 year old Sonia Paine.

Jonathan Saltzman, in yesterday's Boston Globe, wrote about the recent death of 92 year old Nick George Montos, the oldest prison inmate in Massachusetts, who at various times in his life, ended up on the FBI's Most Wanted List (mostly for armed robbery).

Montos had the misfortune of trying to rob Sonia Paine's Brookline Massachusetts antiques store in 1995 - at the age of 79. When he took out his gun, Sonia put on her glasses, assuming that he wanted to have it appraised. She was initially perplexed when he insisted on tying her up. Paine, who was 73 at the time, wriggled herself free - threw down the silent alarm, and then grabbed a baseball bat (which presumably she had handy for this sort of occasion).

Poor Nick George Montos, who was kneeling in front of the safe. He never saw it coming.

Paine, a grandmother of 6, was quoted as saying: "I wish he'd come in again. I'd beat the hell out of him."

See - life just doesn't stop after the age of 70...