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Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti Is Rumored To Be Let Go Following The Firing Of Head Coach Mike Rice

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Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is holding a press conference this afternoon and is expected to announced that Athletic Director Tim Pernetti is being let go.

Multiple news agencies are reporting that an official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to the Associated Press earlier today that the decision would be made public at 1:00pm.  It is speculated that he is being fired because he did not take immediate action when he learned of the abuses of players by then head coach Mike Rice.

School president Robert L. Barchi had released a statement earlier this week showing solidarity with Pernetti in condemning the actions of Rice.  It read as follows: “Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation’s most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values.  

When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel.  The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator’s findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored. Tim Pernetti also made it clear to Coach Rice that there would be zero tolerance for additional infractions. Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.  

Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior. I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University.  Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice’s employment at Rutgers.

We will post a follow-up story following today’s news conference.

 

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