Should Rutgers Keep Julie Hermann? [POLL]
If New Jersey is looking for another reality show to replace ”Jersey Shore” it can look no further than Rutgers. In the words of former Governor Richard Codey, “This is becoming Comedy Central.”
Once again another Rutgers hire is coming under fire for hiring someone in the athletic department who has a history of abusing players. This time it’s athletic director Jilie Hermann. The Newark Star-Ledger reported Saturday that Hermann quit as the head women's volleyball coach at Tennessee 16 years ago after all 15 of her players at the time, in a letter, accused her of calling them "whores, alcoholics and learning disabled."
Since then, the Jersey powers that be all have something to say. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) said she had lost "any semblance of confidence" that the state's largest public university could fix itself.
"The questionable decision-making at this program so heavily funded by taxpayers continues to astound me," Oliver said.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union) said the school should "cut bait" with Hermann and bring back Tim Pernetti, the former athletic director, forced to resign only two days after letting Rice go. And former Gov. Richard Codey (D-Essex) called for the ouster of Rutgers president Robert Barchi.
"This is becoming Comedy Central," Codey said. "It's an embarrassment to the students and alumni of a great university and it's time Mr. Barchi takes his show on the road."
Gov. Chris Christie told NBC on Sunday morning in Asbury Park that he will "be asking questions" about Hermann's past and of Rutgers officials. You wouldn’t think the Governor would have to ask questions about who a University would hire as it’s athletic director, but in this case, I wouldn’t trust Rutgers picking tomatoes at the grocery store let alone an athletic director.
Having said that, I think it’s best at this point to leave it alone. While I don’t condone what she did, it has been 16 years since Hermann’s transgressions and since then,
Hermann was an assistant coach at Georgia in 1987-88. Former Bulldogs player and coach and current Emory head coach Jenny McDowell said Sunday, "I worked side-by-side with her, and she is without question one of the finest coaches I've ever seen and is beloved by athletes. She treated them with incredible respect and dignity."
The praise for Hermann is clearly high at Louisville. Second-year volleyball coach Ann Kordes called Hermann a mentor on Sunday.
"I'm the president of the volleyball coaches association, and several ADs hold her in high regard," Kordes said. "The reports are completely contradictory to who she is, her personality and management style. She has been nothing but encouraging and supportive of male and female coaches starting a family. The people at Rutgers got one of the best AD's in the country. Her management style is collaborative and supportive. Everything that is coming out from these accusations is completely opposite of who she is and has been for 15 years at Louisville. Whatever happened (to the Tennessee players) is important to them. She was a phenomenal AD here and treated her staff at Louisville well. We were all terribly sad when she left."
Teena Murray, the director of sports and performance at Louisville, was hired by Hermann and said she had been an unbelievable advocate for her and the strength and conditioning program.
"I've spent a lot of time with her," Murray said. "What is being said is alarming. Those are not my experiences. The people I know here who have worked with her say great things about her."
Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, who took his team to a Super Bowl, said “winning is the great deodorant” Current Giants head coach Tom Coughlin changed his ways with players in 2007 and took his team to two Super Bowls and won them.
I think now that she’s been hired, we need to judge Julie Hermann on what she does wit the job and not what she did eighteen years ago. Now that this story is out there, she will have more of a microscope on her to get it done. If she doesn’t the reality show that is Rutgers will have a very special episode.