Rutgers defends past UT skipper
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 7:00 pm
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers is standing by its incoming athletic director despite allegations she humiliated and verbally abused players during her coaching days, with the embattled president of the prominent university saying he is looking forward to her first day on the job.
It’s the latest in a series of difficulties for the school, which lost its previous men’s basketball coach and chief athletic executive to an abuse scandal, and then had to acknowledge its new men’s coach had not graduated from Rutgers after it previously said he did.
Julie Herrman officially takes over the athletic department on June 17, and on Monday she said she plans to be in the position on that date. And the university is standing behind her.
“I never considered withdrawing because I feel very qualified to lead Rutgers into the future and into the transition into the Big Ten (Conference),” Hermann said during a conference call in response to a report in the Star-Ledger of Newark. “And I do feel the support of the Rutgers community.”
President Robert Barchi said in a statement that the university looks forward to her running the athletic department. He added that she was the best of the 63 candidates interviewed for the job of succeeding Tim Pernetti.
“Rutgers was deliberative at every stage of this process,” Barchi said. “Over the course of the search, Julie’s record established her as a proven leader in athletics administration with a strong commitment to academic success as well as athletic excellence, and a strong commitment to the well-being of student athletes.
Despite the Star-Ledger report, Barchi said Hermann’s entire career is stellar.
“We remain confident that we have selected an individual who will work in the best interests of all of our student athletes, our athletics teams, and the university.”
Speaking to four reporters on a conference call in which each participant was allowed two questions, Hermann denied having knowledge of a letter written by the 15 players on Tennessee’s volleyball team. She said her former boss never heard of it and she never heard her former players make the allegation.
Rutgers officials have talked to her about it in recent days, she said.
Hermann acknowledged she was an intense coach and may have made a few mistakes handling her team. The 49-year-old administrator said she has matured and believes she is qualified to lead the scandal-marred Rutgers program.
Published in The Messenger 5.28.13