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NJ audits Rutgers after $100M stadium raises questions: report

Gov. Corzine's new financial watchdog is chasing possible contracting and procurement irregularities at New Jersey's state university.

"An inquiry into Rutgers athletics will be expanded into a full-scale audit of the university's contracting and purchasing practices," reports the Newark Star-Ledger. "The (state) comptroller's office said it will be examining a wide range of issues, from the awarding of contracts to the receipt of services.

"'The audit comes as the result of an inquiry that began in August, when the comptroller's office undertook a review of documents concerning the university's athletic department and other topics,'" said Pete McAleer, a spokesman for Comptroller Matthew Boxer.Those documents included coaching contracts as well as records related the $102 million expansion of Rutgers Stadium... 'The audit will be focused on contracting and procurement,'" he added.

"The comptroller's office, which has the power to audit nearly every government agency in New Jersey, was set up a year ago by Gov. Jon Corzine to act as an independent fiscal watchdog. Agencies that refuse to comply with requests from the comptroller can face penalties, including the loss of state funding.

"The announcement of the audit, which is set to start early next month, came a week after Rutgers president Richard McCormick fired Robert Mulcahy, the university's athletic director for more than a decade... His forced departure came on the heels of a report by a special review committee that looked into undisclosed contract sweeteners given to head football coach Greg Schiano and a no-bid contract with a sports marketing firm that was hired after it put Mulcahy's son on its payroll."

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