pernettiRutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernitti no longer has his job. According to the Star-Ledger, Pernetti resigned from his job this morning.

Pernetti is the latest Rutgers official to lose his job after it was discovered men’s basketball coach Mike Rice had been abusing his players during practice.

Pernetti suspended Rice four months ago over the allegations, but did not fire him even though video tape showed Rice taunting his players with vulgar and homophobic slurs, kicking them and throwing basketballs at them.

In a letter to Rutgers president Robert Barchi, Pernetti wrote, “As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal.” He added that he regretted that decision.

John B. Wolf, general counsel at Rutgers, also resigned, as did assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli, who was twice shown shoving a player on the same tape that showed Rice’s abuse.

In a 1:00pm press conference today, President Barchi apologized, saying, “I regret that I did not ask to see the video” when first told about it, saying that if he did, the outcome would have been different. He also personally apologized to the Rutgers community as well as the LGBT community.

Should Pernetti have resigned?

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25 replies on “Pernetti Out at Rutgers”

  1. Rutgers is being held hostage by their sports program. They’ve succumbed to the money game of Big Ten madness…..Fire the president and bring in someone who’s into Big Brain madness.

  2. Come on, PAZ. Rutgers is in no way being “held hostage” by its sports programs. The name of the real game is school name recognition, and that will come more easily via Big Ten membership. That and the share of media revenues which will now come Rutgers’ way

    I am sorry that some years ago Rutgers dropped several sports. That indicated to me that the school’s then-AD wasn’t terribly good at allocating resources, and I had some hopes Pernetti might have restored some sports, given time. The one “dropped” sport I do have personal knowledge of, rowing, does seem to have survived rather nicely. (Proving the old adage, gospel at Ivy schools, that crew does in fact have the most generous and loyal alumni.) Perhaps now, given those Big Ten monies and a new AD, movement will be made re “restoration” of some sports.It is time, and the hiring process for a new Rutgers AD should include questioning as to how he/she would approach, fund and administer all existing and potential sports at the university.

    It’s been interesting to note how little so many posters seem to know about how college athletics programs usually work. And how choleric they got over a four minute video of selective images. What, too, about the beat reporters who covered Rutgers hoops and thus were on-campus regularly? No one wonders why none of them ever in fact mentioned the issue of Rice’s conduct in practice?

    But the calls for Barchi’s head are just silly, Typical of Baristanet, maybe, but silly in the extreme. As for Martelli, once his boss was gone his own departure was assured, so there’s no surprise in his resignation. Any new coach coming in will of course clean house completely.

  3. “Selective images”. What a howler!

    True, there are dozens of tapes that show a kinder, gentler Coach Rice. Ones wherein we see the great mentor speaking softly to his charges, comforting them when they make an errant pass, and reminding them of the importance of sportsmanship and sincere effort.

    And there are plenty of tapes that show chemistry profs, English instructors, and philosophy dons kicking students when they make a mistake and calling their charges “F@#@$% faggots” when they fail to complete an assignment. The mean old sports-hating media just sat on THOSE ones!

    And then we have the always self-assured (though God knows why!) cathar lamenting that so many don’t know how college sports “work”. HE does, of course, because he played for Columbia 100 years ago and believe me, THAT is Big Time athletics right there!

    No, once again we have the bleats of a wannabe masquerading as deep thought. As always, entertaining!

  4. This kind of stuff has been going on in organized athletics since day one. Even the star athletes get the ‘treatment’. Coaches use these tactics to build physical and mental toughness, but sometimes take it too far, and apparently coach Rice did.

  5. “It’s been interesting to note how little so many posters seem to know about how college athletics programs usually work.”

    —huh. see, i thought it was interesting to note how little so many posters seem to get that you really might not want to call your players “F@#@$% faggots” on a campus where a student made international headlines when he killed himself over just such bigoted bullying.

    then again, cathar, i’m guessing you relate to mr. hannity’s recent sentiments:

  6. Coaches use these tactics to build physical and mental toughness

    All that stuff about mental toughness is horse puckey. Humiliation and abuse are not techniques for making players tough. They’re symptoms of a coach’s inability to control his sadistic impulses.

  7. Melissa McCarthy’s sketch, on SNL last night, lampooning the Rutgers/Rice debacle was one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen on television. My wife speculated that she might be as good as Tim Conway in his prime and I have to agree.

  8. There’s plenty of humiliation in basketball and sports right on the ‘playing field’. If you want to avoid ‘In your face disgrace’ you’d better pay attention to Coach and if he goes upside your head to get it, then consider it a lesson learned. That being said, homophobic rants and thrown basketballs are clearly over the line, but a little shoving and yelling are probably a good thing to get the attention of a player who’s head is somewhere else.

  9. People perform to the degree they are motivated. An environment in which players are afraid of being humiliated, shamed and derided in public is the least effective technique of motivation. Inspiring them is far better. This is widely known in most spheres of human activity, except sports it would seem. Though I would bet that the best coaches know how to be inspirational leaders.

  10. Steve Jobs was known to scream, yell, curse, etc. So understand, I don’t necessarily have a problem with tough leaders. Not at all.

    In fact, I see in many of my (“everyone gets a trophy” generation) college-students too many lambs who believe that ANY criticism is bullying, bad, hurtful, etc. I once said to a student, “I think you can do better, based on your past work,” and the kid acted like I took his lunch money (granted, it was probably THIS kid, but still).

    The difference is that these are unpaid college kids who are, yes, I’ll say it, treated like chattel and slaves to the “massas” of these Big Universities, Big Corporations, Big networks who make MILLIONS and the kids (mostly black) get nothing.

  11. When I was in high school, my gym teacher used the “pick team” method for the different games we played. Since I was not athletic, I was always the last one on the floor. The humiliation certainly didn’t enhance my athletic ability and somewhat traumatic me for life.

  12. Athleticism is an asset, but not the only requirement for success in sports. Bill Bradley wasn’t athletic but he practiced his jump shot tens of thousands of times until he perfected it and he worked hare to build his stamina and he succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of most ballplayers.

    I like the ‘ten thousand’ hour rule. If you love something and spend ten thousand hours working at it, you will become a ‘master’ of that thing. Pick your ‘thing’ work hard at it and you will succeed.

  13. .. I was usually the ‘second’ one picked but when the last one joined our group, I made sure they felt welcomed ..

  14. I hear ya, stayhyphy, but I have to say my college gym teacher (who was the grandma of Cuddles, who posts on here) used the count-by-number method, which was much kinder.

    I’m sure the “last one” still remembers your kindness, Mellon.

  15. Agreed. Also, those picked first in gym class may be picked last in any number of other activities / events.

  16. ” President Barchi apologized, saying, “I regret that I did not ask to see the video” when first told about it, saying that if he did, the outcome would have been different.”

    A stunning admission no? He should be removed as well.

  17. Prof: you are absolutely right about criticism. Kids should get the straight poop about their performance. If a player falls short, the coach must make this understood, and why. The opportunity to get criticism and deal with it is one of the best things about student sports. In the hands of a good coach, criticism becomes an opportunity to improve and an inspiration to work harder.

    The trouble is, too many coaches give feedback in a way that is humiliating and demotivating. This style is rampant at Montclair High School, for example. If I were Porcelli, the athletic director, I would sack 3/4s of the school’s coaches.

  18. cathar naively asks, “What, too, about the beat reporters who covered Rutgers hoops and thus were on-campus regularly? No one wonders why none of them ever in fact mentioned the issue of Rice’s conduct in practice?’

    The answer simply is this, no one wonders why because said beat reporters were not allowed into RU practice sessions. If during the time of the Rice transgressions, no one outside of the basketball team knew about what was happening within, let alone AD Pernetti, how were beat reporters, who had no access to know? Pernetti himself only ostensibly learned about it after Murdoch revealed the video tapes.

    You should give posters here a little more credit about how college athletics programs usually work. I can tell you this . . . Mike Rice was a three year starter at point guard for Fordham. While at RMU, he applied for the head job at Fordham after Derrick Whittenburg’s dismissal. Frank McLaughin, who was the Fordham AD then as well as when Rice was a player who ultimately offer him a four year scholarship, hired Tom Peccora from Hofstra instead, even though Rice had the superior record, was earning less money, and had just come of two consecutive NCAA Tourney invites, one of which was a close OT loss as a #15 seed to #2 Villanova.

    When asked why he selected Peccora instead of Fordham alum Rice, the always astute McLaughlin’s comments went something to the effect . . . While Mike Rice is a talented young coach, his style would not be a good fit for our program. A read between the lines = We in Rose Hill know what a hot-headed lunatic he was as a player, ergo, we’ll take a pass on him as a head coach.

    McLaughin, a Fordham grad himself and former hoopster, is about as loyal a Ram there is. He knew the score. This should give you some insight into an innocuous four minute video, as well as a closer look into Mike Rice’s persona.

    Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if Rutgers hired McLaughlin as their AD.

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