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Is the Rutgers Basketball Controversy Penn State Redux [POLL]

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There’s an old saying: A fish stinks from the head down.

Consider the statement just released by Rutgers President Robert Barchi on the firing of head basketball coach Mike Rice.

And just like trying to find “Waldo”, you tell me what’s wrong with this.

“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
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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.”

Couple that with the statement AD Pernetti gave to the media yesterday, and it seems like Penn State redux.

“I spent more time with that option on whether we should fire Mike or not than any other option,” Pernetti said. “At the same the results of the investigation where we ended up, the determination was made to suspend him.

My biggest concern as the AD is that I am always trying to protect the interests and reputation of the university and that’s what makes this one so difficult. There is a lot of hindsight, 20-20, …. that there will be no other option than to terminate Mike. I made that decision. I am accountable for it. I have to live with it.”

So let’s review. President Barchi was informed of Coach Rice’s behavior by AD Pernetti last fall, upon which, an independent investigator was hired to look into the matter.

They could probably have saved the money by Barchi asking to see the video Pernetti had in his possession, and made a decision right then and there. Or perhaps the independent investigator along with counsel was hired to aid in helping the University get out of a very sticky situation.

Either way, the President and AD knew about this back in the fall and decided that the best course of action was to suspend the coach 3 games and issue a fine.

Haven’t we learned anything since the Penn State scenario went down?

That “covering one’s ass” in the name of saving the reputation of the school and the athletic program should never trump the welfare of the student athletes playing under it.

And oh yes, and let’s not forget AD Pernetti’s work to get the Rutgers football and basketball program entered into the Big 10 conference. That will probably play a big part in whether or not he goes.

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