Rutgers Athletic Director Committee Members Believe Process Rushed [POLL]
Emails by members of the Rutgers University 26-member Athletic Director search advisory committee indicate the search was not a smooth one as the school hires a company to help squelch the controversy surrounding the athletic department.
ESPN reports the emails show concern over properly vetting Julie Hermann who was hired to replace Tim Pernetti. She is scheduled to take over on June 17.
“With 13-15 committee members present at the interviews, and with each member needing to be given the opportunity to ask their own questions, and with Julie’s interview starting more than 15 minutes late, there was little or no time to ask follow-up questions, or probe deeply,” wrote committee member Ronald Garutti. “Please let’s not present this as any kind of exemplary process. Subsequent events have proven otherwise.”
Garutti, who is also on the university’s board of trustees, told ESPN that only half the committee were able to meet with Hermann and Wisconsin’s Sean Frazier, the other finalist for the position. He wondered in an email if the search committee needed to be so large.
“Strong Support For Julie”
Earlier, co-chairs Kate Sweeney and Richard Edwards tried to paint a picture of a smoother process. “As members of the Search Advisory Team, you all had the opportunity to examine Julie’s credentials, to spend some time with her when she was on campus, and to provide us with your thoughts regarding her candidacy as Rutgers’ next Director of Intercollegiate Athletics,” they said in an email after the initial Star Ledger report about abuse and bullying during Hermann’s tenure as head volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee.. “As you know, there was strong support for Julie, and for what she could bring to Rutgers.”
The Asbury Park Press reports that Rutgers hired the Parker Executive Search firm to conduct a background check which did not find the coaching allegations in their investigation of Hermann.
Meanwhile, the Star Ledger reports that Rutgers has hired Hill + Knowlton, a crisis communications firm for $150,000. They were initially hired when the Mike Rice video controversy began.
Support For Reinstating Tim Pernetti
There is still support to bring Tim Pernetti back as Athletic Director. A member of the Rutgers board of trustees tells the New York Daily News there is still anger that he had to resign and take the fall for the Rice video. “He did all the work to get them into the Big 10 and was a standup guy,” said the source, requesting anonymity because of the spotlight on the university. “They totally overdid it by firing him. He followed their procedure and did what he was supposed to (in the Rice case).”
The member says there is a battle between faculty who are happy to see the athletic department struggle and athletic boosters who want to see university president Robert Barchi be fired. “It’s a big mess,” said the souce.