Rutgers students get stipend for Insight tickets

Updated: December 7, 2005, 8:31 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Rutgers students who want to cheer on the Scarlet Knights at the Insight Bowl are getting some financial help from the university.

About 275 Rutgers students will be randomly selected to receive $300 stipends for travel expenses to the Dec. 27 game in Phoenix.

The game against Arizona State is only Rutgers' second bowl appearance, and its first in 27 years.

"The university encourages students to support the football team at the Insight Bowl. Events like these enrich the college experience," said Gregory Blimling, Rutgers' vice president for student affairs.

The travel money comes from more than $85,000 donated by alumni and others, including a $25,000 state donation authorized by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.

The idea of a state subsidy to help college students go to a football game prompted sharp criticism from a taxpayer watchdog group.

"At least alumni have the choice of writing a smaller check to the university next year if they think it is a dumb idea. New Jersey taxpayers don't have that luxury, which is why the state should be ashamed of itself," said Pete Sepp, spokesman for the Alexandria, Va.-based National Taxpayers Union.

Rutgers students have until Dec. 12 to fill out an online application for the money.

Besides the stipends, free tickets are available for students through the Rutgers athletic department. The regular ticket price for the game is $52.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press