NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–On November 7, a GoFundMe user named “Concerned Alumnus” created a campaign to raise $1.5 million dollars to buy out Rutgers University football coach Kyle Flood’s contract.
The fundraising page is run by an anonymous person who identifies as a “very proud Alumnus of Rutgers University and [as someone who] will always continue to advocate for it.”
The GoFundMe letter addresses the “alumni, fans, and friends of Rutgers” and states: “We deserve better. The players deserve better. It is time to get serious about competing in the Big 10.”
As of November 9, the campaign raised $8,180 so far from 136 separate donors, and new donations have been coming in roughly every 15 minutes. Many donations are small, such as $10 or $15, but several donations are over $100 and at least two people have pledged over $1000.
Many donations are accompanied by comments about Coach Flood’s performance this season and the recent scandal involving five Rutgers football players who were charged with violent crimes.
“Disgruntled Alum” commented: “The program has become a disgrace under Flood…If only it was just bad play on the field.”
“RU Fan,” made a donation of $100, and said: “Fire Flood. His mismanagement of the football program has hurt the University reputation.”
Others added humor to their comments.
One commenter used the name “Terry Shea,” the name of Rutgers' football coach from 1996-2000 and said: “I currently hold the record for the worst Rutgers football coaching tenure in recent history, and don’t need this to be threatened by coach Flood maintaining his position for another year.”
One commenter, using the name of current athletic director Julie Hermann, donated $10 and commented, “just trying to save my job.”
Another commenter donated $33 saying the donation was inspired by “$1 for every point we lost by” in the recent game.
The GoFundMe campaign is set up in such a way that all donations will be sent directly to the official Rutgers University Foundation.
But the foundation says they will not accept these funds.
An official statement from the Rutgers University Foundation says they “will not accept any money donated to this campaign” and “has advised GoFundMe of the inappropriate nature of the campaign and requested its removal from the site.”
Rutgers University Foundation also stated that it did not give the GoFundMe petition creator the “consent of Rutgers University Foundation to publish its name or Tax ID number for any purpose.”
New Brunswick Today could not reach the Rutgers University Foundation for a direct comment.
In conversation with the creator of the fundraising page through the GoFundMe direct message application, “Concerned Alumnus” expressed concern over the Rutgers University Foundation refusing to accept the funds.
“I am deeply saddened that our University would refuse to accept these funds… These funds are controlled by Gofundme.com and Rutgers University Foundation is the charity that was selected from their database of verified charities. The University shouldn’t refuse these funds as they are no strings attached.”
“Concerned Alumnus” felt compelled to create this GoFundMe page because “the product on the field isn’t acceptable, and we’re losing the recruiting battles locally which doesn’t bode well for the future.”
“Concerned Alumnus” believes that to bring needed funds to Rutgers University, the school should invest in programs that create revenue, and that if the football program could be redone, it could be a large revenue source for the University.
“The RU administration needs to step up now while all hope isn’t lost,” “Concerned Alumnus” said.
“Instead of flying banners and taking out ads on billboards, we (the GoFundMe campaign donators) felt it made sense to generate awareness but ultimately the money goes to the University to do as it sees fit.”