Rutgers Athletes Ring Up $450,000 DoorDash Bill

Rutgers Athletics recently found themselves at the center of another spending controversy – this time after a Bergen Record investigation found $450,000 worth of DoorDash orders were made by student-athletes between May of 2021 and this past June. On a recent episode of New Jersey Politics with Laura Jones, Senator Declan O’Scanlon of the 13th district responded to the story, outlining his view that the spending was unacceptable and must be investigated further. “I am hopeful that the scandals that we’ve heard out of Rutgers regarding spending are not the tip of the iceberg,” O’Scanlon said during the interview. “It’s outrageous that nobody seems to be paying attention with his squandering of New Jersey taxpayer dollars.”

Senator O’Scanlon questioned how that amount of money was able to have been spent by the athletes. He emphasized the lack of any known restrictions on how DoorDash was meant to be used. “We don’t know if there were [any, and] Rutgers certainly didn’t put out guidelines that they had issued,” O’Scanlon said. “So for me, that screams that maybe they didn’t put out any, which is outrageous.”

In a statement given in the Record’s initial report of the spending, Rutgers officials said, “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, this was the best way to look out for our student-athletes welfare.” Senator O’Scanlon acknowledged their statement but didn’t find the explanation satisfactory. “It was a lame excuse, and this did way more than simply look after the nutritional needs of these kids,” O’Scanlon said. “It was outrageous, flagrant, uncalled for spending that someone should have been paying attention to.”

O’Scanlon also noted that other students were subject to similar COVID guidelines to mitigate the risk of spread during the pandemic, but did not spend in the same manner. “What about all the other students and the other departments – we don’t care about them?” The Senator says he doesn’t have an issue with Rutgers Athletics as a whole, but was very concerned by the lack of spending controls. “The problem is the administrators, and people not paying attention to this type of spending,” O’Scanlon said. “[It] shouldn’t be going things like Disney trips [and] massive DoorDash bills, it should be targeted to attract students, and to provide the best education and the best educational experience that we can provide.”

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