COLLEGE NOTES

Rutgers AD is out

Whistleblower files lawsuit

The Associated PressApril 6, 2013 

— Rutgers’ coaching scandal spiraled deeper Friday, bringing down the popular athletics director and a school vice president while donors threatened to cut off their contributions to New Jersey’s largest public university.

The day of mounting troubles for the school began with athletics director Tim Pernetti resigning over his failure to immediately fire coach Mike Rice, who was caught on video hitting, kicking and taunting players with anti-gay slurs at practice.

The video was shown Tuesday on ESPN, prompting outrage nationwide and on campus, where the coach’s conduct was especially sensitive because of the 2010 suicide of a student who killed himself after his roommate used a webcam to record him kissing another man.

Rice was fired by Pernetti on Wednesday, but the athletics director immediately came under criticism for suspending and fining the coach after the video was brought to his attention four months ago. Pernetti said Friday he wanted to fire Rice on the spot but did not because the consensus among school officials at the time was that it didn’t warrant dismissal.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi came under harsh questioning from reporters at a news conference Friday over what he knew about the video months ago, but he got a nod of support from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the school’s board of governors.

Barchi, who took office in September 2012, said he first saw the video this week, but was aware it existed in late November when Pernetti gave him a summary of what was on it at the time.

Pernetti was given the video by a former employee, Eric Murdock, and the decision was made in December to suspend Rice for three games, fine and dock him pay totaling $75,000 and order him to attend anger management classes.

Murdock filed a whistleblower lawsuit Friday, alleging Rutgers violated the state’s employee protection act and his contract. He said he wrote to the university in July about Rice’s “unlawful conduct,” and gave the university the video in November.

SANTA CLARA 80, GEORGE MASON 77

At Fairfax, Va., Kevin Foster had 24 points, Marc Trasolini had 20 points and Evan Roquemore added 19 points and Santa Clara defeated George Mason 80-77 to win the College Basketball Invitational Finals in three games.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service