Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/13/14

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Eric LeGrand and Ray Rice were among the notable former Rutgers athletes who expressed their support of athletic director Tim Pernetti (pictured), who resigned Friday amid the scandal over fired basketball coach Mike Rice. Rice was suspended three games by the school in December after school officials saw video of him physically and verbally abusing his players in practice. Once that video was shown by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” this week, many were outraged over the coach’s behavior. There were immediate calls for Rice to be fired, and questions about why Pernetti continued to employ him. Pernetti resigned, saying he wished he had moved to fire the coach in December. He said in his statement that the school was hesitant to fire the coach before reviewing the whole legal process. “I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today,” Pernetti said in his letter. “As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.” That may not have been entirely accurate, because some say Pernetti could have reasonably fired Rice on account of misconduct. Former Rutgers football players Ray Rice and Eric LeGrand were supportive of Pernetti during the controversy. Rice, a running back for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, called Pernetti a “great man” and lauded him for getting Rutgers in the Big Ten. Big 10 doesn’t happen without Mr. Pernetti He has done a GREAT job for RU, our future is bright with him leading us. #greatman — Ray Rice (@RayRice27) April 5, 2013 LeGrand, a former RU offensive lineman who was paralyzed in an October 2010 game, was even more supportive of Pernetti: When you’re in a situation like I have been for the past 2 1/2 years, you truly see the character of people. Tim Pernetti has shown me and — Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 5, 2013 RU how great of a person he really is, and how much he really cares. He’s a stand up guy that only wants to better the university. #B1G — Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 5, 2013 Heading up to RU in support of Tim Pernetti to talk to some media. #KeepTimPernetti the things this man has done for me is indescribable — Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 5, 2013 I wouldn’t be where I am today with such a bright future if it wasn’t for Tim Pernetti — Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 5, 2013 Definitely a sad day for Rutgers, but Tim Pernetti will have my back for ever for what he did for me and for Rutgers University — Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) April 5, 2013 It’s understandable why Pernetti has his supporters, and it does seem like he has done a lot of good for the school. But not recognizing immediately that what Rice was doing was grounds for firing was a huge mistake. I’ll bet some school overlooks that and gives him a job once this simmers. Image: YouTube/ESPN
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

FCC declares that 'Redskins' is not obscene

Padres reportedly acquire Justin Upton

Rajon Rondo after trade: My love for Celtics fans is 'unmatched'

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Five draft picks why the Browns won’t make the playoffs

Peyton goes Belichick with 'we're on to Cincinnati'

The 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Mark Cuban finalized Rondo trade on "Colbert Report' set

Sen’Derrick Marks celebrates $600K sack with money sign

Five most underpaid NFL players of 2014 season

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.