The hiring of Athletic Director Julie Hermann has brought more heat to Rutgers University.
Rutgers University is tucked away in quiet New Brunswick, NJ., but for the last 18 months, the university is making the wrong kind of noise. From a highly publicized student suicide to the hiring of a rogue volleyball coach turned athletic director. The school which produced Paul Robeson is acting out its own drama before our very eyes.
A cloud began to move over the Rutgers campus in September of 2010 when freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide. Clementi’s suicide came as a result of two Rutgers students recording him having sex with another male and broadcasting the video in an internet chat room. Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi was found guilty of invasion of privacy, biased intimidation and other counts in March 0f 2012. To the dismay of Clementi’s family and the LGBT community Ravi received only a 30-day jail sentence.
ESPN releases a video recording of Rutgers University Men’s Basketball coach Mike Rice kicking players and throwing basketballs at them. Rice also can be heard cursing at players and using gay slurs. The 30-minute tape was recorded and edited by assistant Eric Murdock — who was fired by Rice in July of 2012. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti received the tape in November in 2012. On December 13, 2012, Pernetti suspended Rice for five games, fined $50,000 and ordered to undergo anger management counseling. Rice was fired on April 3rd and Pernetti resigned on April 5th. Murdoch filed a wrongful termination suit against Rutgers.
Julie Hermann promised a new era at Rutgers University when she was named the school’s Athletic Director earlier this month. Instead all Hermann has succeeded in opening another scandalous chapter in the school’s history. In their inquiries of Hermann, the university paid a whooping $70,000 in background checks. Somehow, the abusive behavior of the former Tennessee Women’s Volleyball coach fell through the cracks. In recent days, former players for Hermann have come forth to speak out on her inappropriate behavior. Some players mentioned they were called among other things “whores”.
Former Rutgers basketball player Eddie Jordan was brought in to replace Mike Rice as the Men’s Basketball Coach in late April. By mid-May, questions surfaced as to whether Jordan actually was a graduate of the university. Jordan finished his course work in 1985 and has a degree in health and physical education, he says he earned the degree in 1977. According to the school’s registrar, Jordan failed to receive his diploma due to an enrollment error.
It’s time some of the heat is placed on University President Robert Barchi, his response to these situations have been just as cavalier as those of former Penn State President Graham Spanier concerning child predator Jerry Sandusky.
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