Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti out after abuse scandal

Tim Pernetti during a press conference. Credit: Getty Images
Tim Pernetti during a press conference.
Credit: Getty Images

Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti will leave his post, U.S. media reported on Friday, making him the latest official to depart the New Jersey school after revelations a basketball coach had verbally and physically abused players.

The Star-Ledger newspaper and ESPN based their reports on sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

New Jersey’s largest public university has been under fire since Tuesday, when the ESPN sports network released video showing men’s basketball coach Mike Rice shoving players, throwing balls at their heads and berating them with homophobic slurs and profanity.

The school, which has some 58,000 students, fired Rice on Wednesday.

Rutgers spokesman Greg Trevor declined to comment on the reports of Pernetti’s exit, saying “I have no information on that.”

But University President Robert Barchi and Board of Governors Chairman Ralph Izzo were due to speak on “intercollegiate athletics” at a 1 p.m. EDT news conference at the school’s New Brunswick, New Jersey, campus.

Rice’s ouster, and Thursday’s resignation of Assistant Coach Jimmy Martelli, did little to assuage public anger. On Thursday, 31 faculty members called for Barchi to resign from the president’s post and New Jersey state assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver called for public hearings.

Faculty members charged in a letter that Barchi had hidden facts about Rice for months, and acted only after the videos became public.

A former Rutgers athletics official reported Rice’s behavior to the university last year. After reviewing hours of videotaped evidence provided by the official’s lawyer, Pernetti suspended Rice for three games without pay and fined him $50,000.


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