Pernetti resigns as Rutgers AD

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 05, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Tim Pernetti resigned as Rutgers athletic director on Friday, two days after the basketball coach he hired was dismissed for abusive behavior during practices - actions that prompted nationwide outrage once a video went public. In a letter of resignation sent to university president Robert Barchi, Pernetti said he hoped that his tenure at Rutgers ''will not be judged by this one incident.'' When he first saw the video of Rice pushing, shoving and throwing balls at players in November, Pernetti said he wanted to fire him on the spot. However, he said the consensus among school officials at the time was the actions didn't call for dismissal. The video was broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, showing numerous clips of Rice at practice firing basketballs at players, grabbing them by their jerseys and yelling obscenities in addition to gay slurs. At a news conference on campus, Barchi said he regretted not asking to see the video when Pernetti first told him of its existence. ''I want to apologize to the entire Rutgers community for the negative impact that this situation has had on Rutgers,'' Barchi said. Pernetti said in his resignation letter to Barchi that he has ''spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today. 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,'' it said. Pernetti was given the video in late November by a former employee, Eric Murdock. With Barchi's approval, he suspended Rice for three games, fined and coked him pay totaling $75,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes. Barchi said Friday he did not see the video until this week, clearing up a discrepancy as to when he first viewed it. The 42-year-old Pernetti is a Rutgers graduate who played tight end for the Scarlet Knights from 1989-93. Before Pernetti's resignation, there was an outcry from Rutgers faculty and state legislators not only for his ouster but for Barchi's as well. By Friday morning, nearly 3,000 people had joined a Facebook site calling for the university to keep him, several accusing the media and politicians of a witch hunt. Former Rutgers football players including Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a game in 2010, were among those campaigning for Pernetti. On Thursday, assistant coach Jimmy Martelli resigned. Pernetti's finest hour may have been when he helped in the school's move to the Big Ten Conference, which means millions in additional revenue by way of television contracts and more national exposure, especially in football. The move, which becomes official in 2014, should provide a big boost to the program in recruiting and season ticket sales. The Scarlet Knights will continue to play next season in the Big East. Pernetti's first major move as athletic director came in May 2010, when he hired the volatile Rice away from Robert Morris, which he took to two NCAA tournament appearances. ''He convinced me he understood his reputation, but he also understood where the line was,'' Pernetti said, referring to Rice. ''I made clear to him if he crossed the line he would be held accountable.'' The move might have been too soon for a coach like Rice, and clearly Pernetti took a serious risk. After all, most Big East coaches do not land there immediately after stops in the Northeast Conference, but Rutgers and Pernetti looked at Rice and saw the man who could turn the perennially underachieving program around. It never happened. Rice went 44-51 in three years and posted a 16-38 mark in the Big East after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16 this season, including 5-13 in the league, and questions about Rice's status - based on wins and losses alone - began to surface. But Pernetti again made a questionable decision. Given what he knew about the video, and taking Rice's record into consideration, he still gave the coach a public endorsement at season's end. ''Of course he's coming back,'' Pernetti said at the time. ''It's been an interesting year to say the least, and while I think in one case some of the progress - and there's been a lot of progress - doesn't show, and that's in the win-loss column. I would like it to show there. I think everyone in the program would. But you can definitely see us getting better.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill wants more freedom

Cam Newton: ‘I’m on record as being a sore loser’

‘Emotional’ LeBron eager to face Kobe Wednesday

Steve Spurrier says he should have retired after 2014 season

Joe Namath: Jets should take a look at Colin Kaepernick

Aqib Talib intentionally committed facemask during SB

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Knicks have ‘real chance’ at Russell Westbrook

No. 1 Villanova reaches new heights under Jay Wright

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

Wofford sets NCAA 3-point FG percentage record

Phil Jackson reunion with Lakers possible?

Would it be smart for the Broncos to franchise Von Miller?

Ten storylines to watch heading into spring training

Seahawks release awesome Marshawn Lynch tribute video

WATCH: Alleged LeSean McCoy fight video surfaces

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

College Football 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 YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker