NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Pat Hobbs may have finally sated the ravenous appetites of rabid Rutgers football fans by sealing the deal on an eight-year contract with Greg Schiano, but he continues to come under fire.
Lost among the hoopla surrounding Schiano's return to the Banks of the Old Raritan - first Tuesday morning's unanimous vote by the Board of Governors to ratify the coach's contract, then Wednesday's re-introductory press conference attended by Gov. Phil Murphy and former players such as Eric LeGrand - was a resolution passed by a little know faculty board calling for Hobbs' ouster.
The New Brunswick Faculty Council (NBFC) has quietly passed a resolution calling for Hobbs to get the ax, citing the football team, allegations of abuse in the softball department and wasteful spending of college funds.
The resolution also calls for the appointment of an interim athletic director who then should conduct a complete review of the program's failures and formulate a detailed action plan to reform its management and finances.
"Unfortunately, in recent years, the Rutgers New Brunswick athletics program has done very little to enhance the image of Rutgers, but a great deal to sully it," according to the resolution passed Monday. "The list of missteps, blunders, and errors in judgment is a long one and they seem to have increased in frequency in recent years.
"Football is the most visible of all collegiate sports. Over the last few years our football team has been less competitive than at almost any time in its 150-year history. The result of this non-competitiveness can be seen at any home football game where there are far more empty seats than attendees. In addition to the lost revenue from low attendance, there is also an enormous multimillion dollar payout as part of the financial arrangements put in place for the person who was chosen to lead our football program and was subsequently fired. In addition to these blunders, there have also been ethical and moral lapses."
The Rutgers football team has suffered five consecutive losing seasons stretching back to Kyle Flood's final season as coach (4-8 in 2015). This past season, the team went 1-3 under Chris Ash, who was fired after a 52-0 loss to Michigan. He was replaced on an interim basis by Nunzio Campanile, who went 1-7 the rest of the way. In all, the team was outscored 440-159.
Ash is owed about $8.5 million by the university.
Schiano's return has given Rutgers fans a reason to hope that their team can compete in the Big Ten.
Hobbs was not only the object of social media venom and vitriol when it appeared that negotiations with Schiano had broken down a few weeks ago, but took heat from former Scarlet Knights.
At one point, LeGrand, one of the most visible and respected former players as well as a radio commentator, tweeted that the stalled negotiations "makes me sick."
By all outward appearances, Hobbs and Schiano have smoothed things over. Schiano said Wednesday he was eager to move forward "shoulder to shoulder" with Hobbs.
For a brief moment, Hobbs seemed to indicated he had been stung by the criticism directed toward him.
When one reporter pointed out that Hobbs was on the receiving end of a lot of "noise," Hobbs laughed and said, "You can say that."
The NBFC also referred to charges of abuse inside the athletics department. Last month, Rutgers President Robert Barchi called for an outside investigation in the wake of a published report detailing allegations of widespread physical and mental abuse inside the university's softball program.
According to its website, The NBFC is a deliberative body consisting of faculty representatives elected by departments and other constituencies of Rutgers University-New Brunswick. It is the principal faculty body from which the Chancellor of Rutgers-New Brunswick seeks and receives advice on academic policy issues.