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Students contemplate football team's DoorDash spending, Athletics' budget

Students share their thoughts on the news that the Rutgers football team spent approximately $450,000 on DoorDash and on the Athletics budget in general.   – Photo by Rutgers Football / Twitter

The Rutgers football team accumulated more than $450,000 worth of DoorDash deliveries from May 2021 to June 2022, according to an ongoing inquiry by NorthJersey.com.

The inquiry uncovered that this spending took place while Rutgers Athletics Department is at a $73 million deficit over 2020 and 2021. 

In a statement to Patch, the University said student-athletes used the service to have meals delivered while quarantining during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“Many of our student-athletes come from economically challenged backgrounds, and in addition to how difficult it was to meet their nutritional needs with (COVID-19), this was the best way to look out for our student-athletes’ welfare," Rutgers said. 

According to the University, student-athletes, including those not part of the football team, were entitled to $75 per week in DoorDash deliveries.

Rutgers students have a variety of opinions regarding the football team’s DoorDash budget and whether the Athletics budget, in general, is justifiable within the scale of the whole University.

Sierra Weitz, a Mason Gross School of the Arts sophomore, said she thinks some may oppose the football program’s DoorDash usage because many students must pay for certain course materials with their own income.

As an art student, she said she has spent her money on materials for several classes, though she recognizes that the University pays for larger resources such as transportation for school trips.

Weitz said she is grateful for the resources she has access to and she believes the University decides funding for different units as effectively as it can.

Regarding the football team’s DoorDash expenses, she said while the team may have overused the service, it does not mean the service should not be made available to them entirely.

Additionally, Weitz said the student body’s objection to the spending may be contradictory given the amount of spirit they display during football games.

“You might even say we help to create the ego they have to say that this spending is acceptable because of how we thrive off of their success,” she said.

Nihar Biradar, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said he understands the football team gets special resources due to the money they bring to Rutgers but also that the team’s performance record and Athletics’ deficit offset that. 

He said there are other issues at Rutgers such as the busing system and the lack of study spaces that affect a wide range of students that the University should invest in.

“I think Rutgers should put more of a focus on their entire student body and how they can benefit them rather than just furthering the athletic program,” Biradar said.

Sofia Wernyj, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said that when she first heard about the football team’s spending on DoorDash, she thought the story was fake.

“I figured there had to be some system in place to prevent any Rutgers organizations from abusing their funds,” she said. “I think the spending was completely unreasonable.”

In response to how the University could have put the money spent to better use, Wernyj said she believes the money should be invested in the entire student body. She also said she hopes that regulations around Athletics spending are improved.

“Even though I would personally fund sports less, I do understand the argument that sports teams bring in money to the University,” Wernyj said. “However, I do think that funds should be monitored more closely and guidelines on spending should be implemented.”


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