Rutgers will keep Julie Hermann as athletic director

Rutgers will keep Julie Hermann on as athletic director despite past abuse claims. Credit: Getty Images
Rutgers will keep Julie Hermann on as athletic director despite past abuse claims.
Credit: Getty Images

Rutgers University is standing by its new athletic director in the wake of a newspaper report that she had been accused of abusing her volleyball team 16 years ago at another school, the New Jersey school’s president said on Monday.

The athletic director, Julie Hermann, had been hired earlier this month after her predecessor resigned under pressure for not firing Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice for abusive behavior toward his players.

The Newark Star-Ledger said in a report on Saturday that Hermann resigned in 1997 as women’s volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee after all 15 players on the team signed a letter accusing her of mental cruelty.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vowed over the weekend to investigate the report.

But on Monday, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said in a statement the school is standing by its decision to hire Hermann, who had been associate athletic director at the University of Louisville before coming to Rutgers, the state’s largest public university.

Barchi said Hermann had passed an extensive vetting process by an executive search firm and a background check by a leading U.S. private security firm.

“Since the announcement of her selection, some media reports have focused on complaints about aspects of her early career,” Barchi said in the statement. “Looking at Julie’s entire record of accomplishment, which 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.”

Hermann’s predecessor, Tim Pernetti, resigned in early April after ESPN aired video showing Rice berating players with homophobic slurs and throwing basketballs at them during practice. Pernetti had originally decided to discipline Rice rather than fire him, but after the video became public, the coach was dismissed.

Christie’s spokesman said on Sunday that the governor was not involved in Hermann’s hiring.

The Star-Ledger reported that the letter signed by Hermann’s players said she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse and called her volleyball players “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”

Hermann said in a statement on Monday that she was never notified of the letter and called the allegations heartbreaking.

“I am truly sorry that some were disappointed during my tenure as coach,” Hermann said. “For sure I was an intense coach, but there is a vast difference between high intensity and abusive behavior.”

She added that Rutgers was aware of a lawsuit filed by a former assistant coach at Tennessee who accused Hermann of firing her because she was pregnant. A jury in 1997 awarded the former assistant $150,000.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.