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
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…