Poll: Voters disapprove of payouts in the wake of Rutgers basketball controversy

A majority of New Jersey voters say they oppose large payouts for former Rutgers University officials who left the college following the scandal involving former basketball coach Mike Rice, according to a new poll.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, Garden State voters disapprove 64 percent to 7 percent of the large payouts to Rutgers officials, which included $475,000 for former coach Rice.

Rice was fired after video surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing players. The controversy, which played out on the national stage, also claimed the jobs of two other former Rutgers officials, including the school’s athletic director and chief counsel.

“Were those big Rutgers payouts to the ousted trio a reward for bad behavior? They attracted a lot of criticism as the news trickled out, and two thirds of New Jersey voters tell Quinnipiac University they were a bad decision,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a news release.

Voters are split, however, on whether Rutgers President Robert Barchi should leave his post following the controversy.

Twenty-five percent of voters say he should be fired, while nearly 30 percent say he should stay – nearly 42 percent of voters are undecided, according to the poll.

Voters approved the university’s decision to fire Rice 62 percent to 12 percent, the poll found.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,112 registered between April 19 and 22. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Poll: Voters disapprove of payouts in the wake of Rutgers basketball controversy