Rutgers Athletics: I always tried my best to do what is right. I have 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.
If what Tim Pernetti is saying in this letter is true, I was completely wrong in my assumption of his role in this shit storm. I believe Pernetti here. I believe he is telling the truth. He is a very smart individual and know knows just how the media works (now more than ever). He knows there will be countless numbers of reporters digging into everything he said; fact checking every word he wrote in this letter. It would be basically career suicide to lie in this letter and have it get found out.
After reading this letter, I now think Rutgers needs to completely overhaul their institutional policies. How can their internal policies and procedures direct them to suspend and fine Rice instead of firing him? On second thought, I have a hard time believing Rutgers policy doesn’t call for immediate termination. Something doesn’t add up here. If a professor was throwing chalk/dry erase markers at underperforming students calling them “faggots,” “pussies,” or “retards” that professor would immediately be “suspended pending investigation” followed up with the professor being fired. The same thing should have happened here. Someone was on Rice’s side here and wanted to protect him. Not sure why as the results aren’t there (probably because he is a shitty coach).
If the New Jersey State Senate really wants to get involved here (like they have been), they should probably focus on Rutgers’ documented policies and procedures and see if they need to be overhauled. If they really do show that Rice should have been fired back in December, then President Barchi should be fired too. If Pernetti is right and the policy called for a fine and a suspension, then the policies need to be torn up and completely rewritten.
NYDN: For more than 35 years, Rutgers has been the wasteland of college basketball. The university hired one nondescript or ill-fitting coach after another. The only hire never made was the only one that made sense — a New Jersey native with college head coaching experience, a coach whose name was universally known and respected throughout the state. It’s shocking it never happened because the best thing Rutgers has going for it is this: It is the State University of New Jersey. New Jersey, at its core, is a state populated by loyal, passionate, proud people, people who trust their own, people who know a Jersey guy speaks their language, people who know there are values dating back to the state’s roots in farming and factories. Pernetti may be the next Rutgers employee fired, but whomever sits in the AD chair can begin restoring the school’s image with one hire and only one hire — Danny Hurley. But wins and losses — important for certain in the million-dollar world of college basketball — shouldn’t be the primary focus of this hire. Character should be. Commitment should be. Community should be. Now more than ever, with the nation sure the inmates are running the asylum at Rutgers, Danny Hurley is exactly what the State University of New Jersey needs.
I know a lot of people will think this author is saying that Rutgers needs to do whatever it takes to lure Coach Hurley out of URI. I took it another way. Granted, the author certainly doesn’t seem like he’d complain if Rutgers went after Hurley, but I think his greater point is that Rutgers needs a certain type of coach and that Hurley is the poster child for that “type.” To me, the author says that Rutgers fucked up by not hiring Hurley when they had the chance (before hiring Mike Rice) and now they need to find a coach who is exactly like Hurley. He is inferring that in order for Rutgers to dig themselves out of this shithole they have dug themselves into they need to find a coach like Hurley who commands respect without having to be over the top to the point of abuse. In the end, I think the author is trying to say that Rutgers needs who and what Hurley embodies not necessarily Hurley himself. Of course, I’ve been wrong before; so what the fuck do I know, right? I will reiterate my sentiments from before. Coach Hurley isn’t leaving URI for Rutgers. It just doesn’t make any sense at this point. As the article said, he is building a foundation at URI and won’t just abandon the team to join a floundering bottom feeder just because they are in a BCS conference. Hurley is smart enough to know that if he turns URI around, he will have opportunities to join BCS schools that are actually good. Rutgers can hope and wish all they want, Hurley is not taking that job.