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Rutgers AD Pernetti out after Rice firing
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 5, 2013 @ 11:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jerry Carino and Keith Sargeant, USA TODAY Sports
Tim Pernetti is expected to be removed as Rutgers Athletics Director, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because it hasn’t been announced.
The university is expected to hold an afternoon press conference Friday to announce the decision.
It will mark the first time Rutgers officials will speak publicly following the fallout from the videotape scandal involving former men’s basketball coach Mike Rice who was fired earlier this week after ESPN aired a report that included highlights of three years of practice images depicting Rice physically and verbally abusing his players.
The news of Pernetti’s ouster was first reported by The Record.
After the videotape surfaced Tuesday, Pernetti vigorously defended his handling of Rice. He was grilled on ESPN’s Outside the Lines shortly after the program aired the video montage, which showed the coach throwing and kicking basketballs at players, shoving players and hurling bleeped-out expletives at them, including gay slurs.
The explosive video clips were compiled and leaked by Rice’s former director of player development, Eric Murdock, whose contract was not renewed last June. They were cut from practice footage over Rice’s first two seasons.
But in announcing Rice’s firing Wednesday, Pernetti admitted his decision to suspend Rice for three games and penalize him with $75,000 in fines rather than fire the first major coach he hired “was wrong.”
“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Pernetti said. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was itn the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong.”
Pernetti’s marks a precipitous fall for someone who seemingly had as much job security as any of his peers just four months ago when he shepherded the university’s bank-breaking move into the Big Ten Conference.
His dismissal is sure to spark fury among Rutgers boosters, sports fans and prominent alumni, like Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and paralyzed former Scarlet Knights lineman Eric LeGrand, both of whom lent their names to a growing grassroots movement to save the embattled athletics director.
“When you’re in a situation like I have been for the past 2 … [For more on Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti out after Mike Rice firing, click here.]
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