After a 52-0 loss to the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, Rutgers University’s athletic director Patrick Hobbs has dismissed head football coach Chris Ash, who was four games into his fourth season leading the Scarlet Knights.
“I want to remove two words from the Rutgers vocabulary: long suffering,” said Hobbs.
Rutgers will end up paying Ash $8 million through the end of his contract in 2022.
The firing is the latest in a series of moves cited by critics about the money Rutgers spends on football. The team has struggled since joining the Big Ten, going without a win in the highly competitive conference since 2017 and notching only eight total victories in a little more than three seasons.
Among the biggest critics is the faculty union, claiming Rutgers — which spends $94 million a year on sports — has lost $200 million since joining the NCAA conference in 2014.
“Once again, we’re faced with a huge bill for someone to not work for Rutgers,” the union said in a joint statement with administrators at the school. “Instead of expecting a new coach to magically ‘turn things around,’ Rutgers would be better off supporting our mission of public higher education and research and funding health care for all employees and job security for support staff.”
Keith Sargeant, writer for NJ Advance Media, says in order to generate the profit the school is looking for out of its football program, the Knights needs to increase attendance; the only way to do that, he claims, is to win.
Hobbs says the process for hiring a new head coach will start at the end of the season.