The wheel just keeps on spinning for the athletic department at Rutgers University.
Earlier this spring, the Scarlet Knights made the decision to fire head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice following the release of a video tape that showed obvious physical and verbal abuse of collegiate athletes. Athletic director Tim Pernetti — who prior to this whole fiasco had been being considered for AD of the Year — only suspended Rice three games earlier in the year for these actions, so public outcry amid the situation called for his job, as well. Pernetti eventually resigned that same week.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi stayed on board and from there, we simply expected the university to fill the holes in and move forward. Well, Eddie Jordan, a former guard at Rutgers was hired as the program’s next head basketball coach, but soon after that reports surfaced that he had never even graduated from the university. Jordan however, remains the coach moving forward, but the public certainly raised an eyebrow to that whole situation.
Then however, came the appointment of a new athletic director and the university decided to tab Julie Hermann to the position. Allegations and reports however, show that Hermann was forced away from a volleyball coaching position at Tennessee nearly two decades ago for abuse allegations. Rutgers has since backed Hermann and their decision and the process in which she was hired.
The story is so bizarre and instead of the school moving forward, they have simply created a spinning circus that continues to be scrutinized by the public. Some now are even saying that Hermann must go and so too should Barchi.
Rutgers isn’t expected to make a move and who knows the real story behind Hermann’s past — most people at Louisville, where she was before accepting the Rutgers’ position, support her. The Scarlet Knights have made it clear that their process was conducted the right way and that she is the correct person to lead the school into its upcoming transition into the Big Ten Conference.
It’s a head-scratching situation that simply won’t end. Recruiting will not be easy, that’s for sure. It’s going to take a while for Rutgers to work their way away from all that has happened this spring — and with that being said, they better hope that Hermann really was the right decision.
Good luck, Rutgers!
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS