Tim Pernetti Steps Down As Rutgers Athletic Director [VIDEO]
Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti has stepped down as university President Robert Barachi issues an apology to those who were offended by the Mike Rice video and explain his actions and those of Pernetti.
In a letter, Pernetti writes, ” I write in confirmation of our conversation earlier today during which we agreed that it was in the best interests of Rutgers University that I step down from my position as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.”
Pernetti concludes that his “continued tenure as Athletic Director is no longer sustainable for the University” and hoped his time as AD “would not be judged by this one incident.”
Pernetti said “his first instinct” was to fire Rice after viewing video of Rice.”However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel,” wrote Pernetti, who regrets taking that path. “I wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.”
Pernetti briefly spoke to reporters outside his Oakland home, “It’s a really sad day for a lot of people, including me and my family,” Pernetti said. “I always have and I always will, no matter what, want what’s best for Rutgers.”
Governor Chris Christie praised both Pernetti and Barachi in his reaction, citing Barachi’s “decisive leadership in coming to an agreement w/ Mr. Pernetti to have Rutgers come under new leadership” which commending Pernetti for “taking responsibility” for the incident.
Senate President Steve Sweeney praised Pernett for getting Rutgers into the Big Ten conference but still called his resignation as “necessary.” Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is looking for Barachi to explain his decision making process.
An “egregious” Video
Barchi issued an apology to student athletes harmed by Rice’s actions and members of the LBGT community. He admitted to being given a summary description about Rice’s actions and said he agreed with Pernetti’s decision to suspend the head coach. Barchi said he watched the video for the first time on Tuesday night and realized ““just how egregious the offenses were and just how out of keel” its contents are with Rutgers’ values.
He said that when Pernetti spoke publicly about the video in a radio interview he was under the incorrect assumption Barchi had already watched the video. They watched it later together and Barchi says he told Pernetti to fire Rice.
Barchi had kind words for Pernetti, saying “I feel believe he always had the good of Rutgers” in mind, Barchi says of Pernetti. “We will learn from this situation going forward.”
The president says an athletic director will be named in the upcoming days.
It does not appear that Barchi’s position in in danger. Ralph Izzo, heard of Rutgers Board of Governors, says Barchi is “the right person to run this school for the many years to come.” He said he does not have a contract with terms and serves “at the pleasure” of the Board.
Criticism Of Rutger
Social media reaction was swift against Rutgers and Barchi in particular with fans and alumni threatening to pull their support. Mike D’Andraia posted on the I Support Tim Pernetti Facebook page, “I will be purchasing a scarlet #90 RU football jersey with “PERNETTI” on the back, and it will be the only Rutgers jersey I will ever wear again.”
Wow, Barchi really likes to play the “I’m the new guy” card, huh? #rutgers
— Allyson Pryor (@locallylove) April 5, 2013
This Rutgers press conference is turning into uncomfortable comedy. It will immediately be part of the curriculum in PR classes.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) April 5, 2013
Tim Pernetti’s resignation letter: “I trust that my tenure at Rutgers will not be judged by this one incident.” Ha! scarletknights.com/news/release.a…
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) April 5, 2013
Rutgers is going to have a hard time finding aomeone better then Tim Pernetti as AD. Good man…
— Moose™ (@MarcMalusis) April 5, 2013
Pernetti had been under increasing fire following the release of video showing mens basketball coach Mike Rice cursing players and throwing basketballs at them during practice. Rice was fired on Wednesday.
With the approval of Barchi, Pernetti, after being given the video in late November by a former employee, suspended Rice for three games, fined him $75,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.
Many groups, however, have called for more action on the part of the university including the firing of Pernetti and university President Robert Barchi. Assistant Coach Jimmy Martelli submitted his resignation yesterday.