Mulcahy leaving at month's end

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy will step down at the end of the month.

In a statement, Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick said Mulcahy will leave on Dec. 31, two days after the Rutgers football team plays in the Papajohns.com Bowl against North Carolina State in Birmingham, Ala.

"Bob Mulcahy has provided outstanding leadership for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers for a decade," McCormick said. "I applaud his accomplishments and his tireless efforts on behalf of our student athletes, the coaching staff and the thousands of Rutgers fans."

In a statement issued by the Rutgers Athletic Communications office Wednesday evening, Mulcahy said: "I was asked to resign. I have not offered my resignation."

McCormick said he will "act quickly" to name a successor.

The announcement of Mulcahy's departure comes less than a month after an independent committee appointed to review of the school's athletic program criticized Mulcahy and other officials for failing to exercise proper oversight.

Mulcahy has been one of the driving forces behind Rutgers' football team's rise from one of the nation's worst programs to one that has qualified for bowl games in four consecutive seasons.

But he came under criticism from inside the university after several minor sports were cut while the football team's expenditures skyrocketed.

Mulcahy didn't return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Mulcahy was the overall architect of Rutgers' football success, which included a first ever top 10 ranking in The Associated Press poll in 2006. He stubbornly refused to fire coach Greg Schiano after the Scarlet Knights went 3-20 in his first two seasons and drew criticism for extending Schiano's contract.

Last year, Schiano received another extension that increased his total compensation to about $1.5 million annually and included an interest-free $800,000 home loan paid by the university.

Rutgers' $102 million football stadium expansion has also drawn criticism during a period when state aid to the university has been slashed.