Rutgers - where does it end?


Report: New controversy at scandal-scarred Rutgers
The Associated Press – 37 minutes ago

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – The woman hired to clean up Rutgers’ scandal-scarred athletic program quit as Tennessee’s women’s volleyball coach 16 years ago after her players submitted a letter complaining she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse, The Star-Ledger reported Saturday night on its website.

‘‘The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable,’’ the players wrote about Julie Hermann, hired May 15 as Rutgers’ athletic director after serving as the No. 2 athletic administrator at Louisville.

In the letter submitted by all 15 team members, the players said Hermann called them ‘‘whores, alcoholics and learning disabled’’ and they wrote: ‘‘It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue.’’ The players told The Star-Ledger that Hermann absorbed the words and said: ‘‘I choose not to coach you guys.’’

The 49-year-old Hermann, set to take over the Rutgers’ program June 17, told The Star-Ledger she didn’t remember the letter. The newspaper said when it was read to her by phone Wednesday, she replied, ‘‘Wow.’’

Hermann, the first woman to head Rutgers’ athletic program and one of three female ADs at the 124 schools that make up college football’s top tier, has promised a restart for the program following the ouster of its men’s basketball coach and the resignation of other officials.

She is set to replace Tim Pernetti, who quit last month after the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice. Practice videos surfaced of Rice shoving and throwing basketballs at players and yelling gay slurs at them.

‘‘No one on the coaching staff doesn’t believe that we need to be an open book, that we will no longer have any practice, anywhere at any time, that anybody couldn’t walk into and be pleased about what’s going on in that environment. It is a new day. It is already fixed,’’ Hermann said at her introductory news conference.

At that news conference, Hermann was questioned about a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former Tennessee assistant coach who said Hermann fired her because she became pregnant.

Rutgers’ problems started in December when Rice was suspended three games and fined $75,000 by the school after a video of his conduct at practices was given to Pernetti by Eric Murdock, a former assistant coach. The video showed numerous clips of Rice firing basketballs at players, hitting them in the back, legs, feet and shoulders. It also showed him grabbing players by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice can also be heard yelling obscenities and using anti-gay slurs.

The controversy went public in April when ESPN aired the videos and Rutgers President Robert Barchi admitted he didn’t view the video in the fall. Rice was fired and Pernetti, assistant coach Jimmy Martelli and interim senior vice president and university counsel John Wolf resigned.

After a series of interviews with many of the former Tennessee players about Hermann, The Star-Ledger said:
''Their accounts depict a coach who thought nothing of demeaning them, who would ridicule and laugh at them over their weight and their performances, sometimes forcing players to do 100 sideline pushups during games, who punished them after losses by making them wear their workout clothes inside out in public or not allowing them to shower or eat, and who pitted them against one another, cutting down particular players with the whole team watching, and through gossip.

‘‘Several women said playing for Hermann had driven them into depression and counseling, and that her conduct had sullied the experience of playing Division I volleyball.’’

The Star-Ledger asked Hermann about the players’ lingering grievances.
‘‘I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that whatsoever,’’ she told the newspaper. ‘‘None of this is familiar to me.’’
Rutgers will join the Big Ten in 2014.


Well, on the one hand… she’d fit right in with a typical Division-1 football coach. :rolleyes:

On the other hand… Rutgers insisted that Don Imus should lose his job for saying a lot less.

It looks like incoming freshman students face more scrutiny at Rutgers than high-level athletic department hires do. What a bunch of clowns.


It’s been my experience as an assistant coach to see many new head coaches get confused by the definition of coach. Some/many think it means dictator. To me it’s unbelievably mind-baffling how many people abuse their power over athletes. Some coaches get ego trips over their new title “Head Coach”, when in fact their title should be ''Head Case." It’s sad it really, really is. I retired during this past track season because I couldn’t deal with these A-hole coaches anymore.


really? this was 20 years ago. Different times, different place, different mentalities, different woman. I’m sure however much of this is true its not relevant anymore. It wasn’t a problem at Louisville and they are a whole lot more succesful than most other D1 schools. All of her past coworkers have spoken up for her. This is just another witchunt in my opinion by the Star Ledger still trying to pick off the few pieces of meat left on the Mike Rice carcass.


I couldn’t disagree more. First, it shows that Rutgers has no clue what it is doing. At a time when they have to be squeaky clean with everything they can’t get the basics right. They should have known about this. They’re in the spotlight and State U looks either rudderless or clueless. This incident and the Jordan mess speak volumes about the lack of leadership and direction. If they can’t get something so visible right why should people have any faith at all that they can get the details about education that aren’t in the public eye correct? As a parent of two kids who will be making a college decision within the next four years I have to say that it would take a LOT to convince me to trust my kids education to this bunch.

The mess also speaks loudly about this AD as it did about Jordan. Plain and simple: they lied. Maybe the whole mess is so ancient it doesn’t really matter any more but she didn’t reveal it when she knew the situation Rutgers was in. IMO neither she nor Jordan should have a job at Rutgers because of the lack of integrity they have shown.


If you’re hiring someone to watch over an athletics department that has had problems with coaches being abusive towards student athletes, would it make sense to hire someone who had shown herself to be an abusive coach?

You’re right, that it may not be relevant now, in that she’ll be on the lookout and under the microscope.

But it certainly does send the wrong message. And shows Rutgers to be pretty incompetent when it comes to hiring people.

And from Rutgers’ standpoint - they are trying desperately to show that they are a prominent Div I athletics power - with a move to the Big 10 and the millions of dollars that go with it. And in their quest to move up to the big leagues, they aren’t doing their homework with their hires. Like Joe L said, it just makes them look like they aren’t even researching the people that they hired…just taking on faith what these people are saying.

You would think after being burned by hires that have skeletons in their closet they would turn over every stone to make sure no one had…a skeleton in their closet.


I agree RU looks ridiculous, its almost hard to believe, that being said, I think she should keep her job.


Rutgers needed to be squeaky clean,and messed this up as well.

They also made en error and did not even do the proper thing with one of their own, who said he graduated but never did, Eddie Jordan.

There was/is a reason he was passed over through multiple misfits in the last 15 years.

It is simply poor and poorer decision maiking, I’ll bet she is a different person now, but this was not the place at all for her to be.


In private industry, large companies, she’d never survive. I worked for a very large, easily recognizable Jersey company for years. One of my directs hired a guy to work for him. I interviewed him, good guy, qualified. Came to work for us in one of my accounting areas and was doing a good job. Then HR came to see me. On his application he said he had a drivers license. Didn’t really matter, since a license wasn’t required to do the job. When we ran our usual background check it came back that his license had been revoke and he was dismissed. He lied on his application and the company felt that if you did that you were lacking in integrity and couldn’t be trusted. I had to agree.


Exactly. Rutgers paid a headhunting firm to pull together a list of candidates. It was 47 names long. Hermann’s wasn’t on it. So after paying someone to do their homework, they go over their head and get their own person, and don’t do the homework on her. Or worse, they did, and hired her anyway.

At best, they were lazy. At worst, they were indifferent to the kind of coaching behavior that had them searching for a new AD in the first place.

It’s about time the administration had a taste of the RU Screw - students have been getting it for decades!


The headhunters interviewed her also.


RU President (allegedly) stating that the new AD’s job is “safe”.

To paraphrase Animal House: “Hey, they can’t call our female athletes whores… only WE get to do that!!!”


Now it has come out that Hermann was responsible for firing the asst track coach who brought a lawsuit against Louisville for gender and sexual discrimination. She was fired after placing a complaint with the university’s human relations department after having previously spoken with Hermann

At trial, looks like Coach won but it was overturned by an appellate court. Now going to state supreme court.

Time for a new AD and President?