Mike Rice Scandal Forces Ouster Of Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti

Mike Rice’s boss, Tim Pernetti, is out of a job. The Rutgers Athletic Director who had suspended rather than fired Rice in December has stepped down. According to media reports, it is undetermined at this stage whether Pernetti was fired or resigned.

Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Ross was fired on Wednesday after a video surfaced that showed him physically and verbally abusing players during team practices. Assistant coach Jimmy Martelli reportedly also resigned.

When the video went public this week many people wondered why Rutgers didn’t immediately fire Mike Rice for his misbehavior. Athletic director Tim Pernetti said that he was responsible for the decision to keep Rice on staff, saying that he thought it was best to give Rice a chance at redemption. About 50 faculty members subsequently called for the AD’s dismissal however.

Pernetti, a former Rutgers football player, was considered a rising star and, as such, it was initially expected — at least before the political and public-opinion pressure began mounting — that he would hold on to his job at the state university of New Jersey. “A 1993 Rutgers graduate who was hired as Rutgers’ AD in April 2009, Pernetti was instrumental in Rutgers moving from the Big East to the Big Ten Conference for 2014. Because of the move, Rutgers will increase its media rights revenue from about $3 million annually in the Big East to more than $40 million annually by 2017, sources said.”

Pernetti inked a lucrative contract with Rutgers, and it is unclear whether any of it is guaranteed: “Pernetti, 42, was hired in 2009 –signing a five-year contract worth $410,000 annually, with an annual performance bonus of $50,000 and a $12,000 annual car stipend. That contract is due to expire in June 2014 — months before Rutgers begins competing in the Big Ten.”

Do you agree that Tim Pernetti had to go in the Mike Rice scandal?

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