Rutgers/Penn State Scandals Prove that the Ivory Tower Practices what the Catholic Church did for Years: Simply Move Around Law-Breakers; In Higher Ed’s Case, to Other Universities

May 28, 2013

Uncategorized

Rutgers Backs Athletic Director After Charge of Abuse

By 
Published: May 27, 2013

Earlier this month, Rutgers named Julie Hermann, a longtime official in Louisville’s athletic department, as its athletic director, hailing her as the right person to help repair the university’s image after a scandal involving the abusive behavior of its former men’s basketball coach.

Mel Evans/Associated Press

Julie Hermann was hired by Rutgers on May 15.

But less than two weeks after her appointment, Hermann and Rutgers officials are defending her character amid allegations that she also used abusive language toward her players when she was the volleyball coach at Tennessee in the late 1990s. The players contended in a letter at the time that she had called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled,” and they accused her of making the team endure “mental cruelty,” according to a report published by The Star-Ledger of Newark on Sunday.

Hermann, in a statement on Monday, said that the revelations had “caused distress” and that she was “never notified of the reported letter outlining the concerns of some former athletes.”

“However, I am truly sorry that some were disappointed during my tenure as coach,” she said. “For sure, I was an intense coach, but there is a vast difference between high intensity and abusive behavior.”

The Rutgers president, Robert L. Barchi, said in a statement that Hermann’s job was not in jeopardy and that her hiring “followed a rigorous and consultative selection process to ensure we had the best person for the position.”

He added, “We look forward to her joining Rutgers and leading the university through the coming transition into the Big Ten,” noting that Hermann was one of 63 candidates considered and that “she swiftly stood out as a leading candidate.”

Barchi did not explain why the allegations of Hermann’s former players did not come out in the vetting process. Hermann, who has a 30-year career in intercollegiate sports, was hired by Rutgers after about 15 years as the second-in-command at Louisville’s athletic department.

The allegations by her former players are reminiscent of accusations against the former Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, who berated players in practice. A video also showed him hurling balls at them. The video, first broadcast by ESPN, led to the firing of Rice and the resignation of Tim Pernetti, the athletic director, after he and other Rutgers officials were criticized for suspending Rice rather than firing him when they first learned of the video.

Rice’s replacement, Eddie Jordan, also had a rocky start to his new job; the Web site Deadspin reported that he had not graduated from Rutgers, despite his claims that he had. Jordan was a star on the basketball team, leading it to its only Final Four appearance, in 1976.

A version of this article appeared in print on May 28, 2013, on page B12 of the New York editionwith the headline: Rutgers Backs Athletic Director After Charge of Abuse.
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