AD Hermann calls criticism ‘heartbreaking’
by USA TODAY Sports Staff Report, USATODAY
Julie Hermann spoke with the media on Wednesday in Piscataway for only the second time since the controversy erupted surrounding her hire as new athletics director at Rutgers.
Hermann said she met with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany earlier today in New York.
“We talked at length about some of the initiatives he’s bringing up to this corridor,” she said.
She also said she talked with Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi and her athletics department team.
“I’m really anxious to get to work Monday,” she said.
Hermann said the controversies have come up in her conversations today.
“All of our dialogue has been about getting through that and getting back to the student-athletes,” Hermann said.
She also reiterated that her past makes her uniquely qualified to lead Rutgers. She said she would focus on giving student-athletes what they need.
She said it was “heartbreaking” to hear the voices of her former players that criticized her as a coach in the late-1990s at the University of Tennessee. She acknowledged the controversies will be something to overcome as a leader and fundraiser.
“Am I going to have to work double-time to connect with the people who are passionate about Rutgers? Yes,” Hermann said.
She admitted she naively said she was ready to deal with the New York and New Jersey media. But many people reached out to her to help her through the controversy.
“I was interested in this job because I believe Rutgers is a special place,” she said. She said she’d do whatever it takes to help student-athletes at Rutgers do something great.
MyCentralJersey.com, a Gannett property, contributed to this report.