Julie Hermann, the incoming Rutgers University athletic director, reportedly has another issue regarding her resume: a 2008 sex discrimination lawsuit by a Louisville assistant coach. Hermann was a senior athletics administrator at Louisville at the time.
The coach won a jury verdict against Louisville for about $500,000 in total damages for claims of a hostile work environment and retaliatory discharge. “In that case, an assistant track and field coach said she went to Hermann to complain of what she considered sexist behavior and ‘discriminatory treatment’ by the head coach. Within three weeks of her taking her concerns to Louisville’s human resources department, the assistant coach, Mary Banker, was fired.”
Louisville maintains that Banker was let go for poor job performance. An appeals court subsequently tossed out the verdict, but Banker’s lawyer is appealing to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Hermann already stands accused of abusing players when she was the coach of the University of Tennessee women’s volleyball team. Hermann was hired on May 15 to clean up the Rutgers athletic program after the player abuse scandal involving basketball coach Mike Rice. Both Rice and then-Athletic Director Tim Pernetti lost their jobs as a result. Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is joining the Big Ten next season.
Questions have been raised as to whether Rutgers properly conducted its due diligence in vetting Hermann for the job.
As a result of these revelations, prominent state lawmakers have called for Rutgers President Robert Barchi to step down and the Hermann hiring to be rescinded. Barchi (but not necessarily Hermann) received a vote of confidence from Gov. Chris Christie, however: “I have absolute confidence in Bob Barchi. He’s the right man for the job. I have complete support for him and for him to make the right decisions. He came out very forcefully in support for Julie Hermann. I’m in support of the board and president Barchi. I don’t know her and I wasn’t involved in the recruiting of her.”
Do you think Julie Hermann will actually become the Rutgers athletic director as of June 15?
[Top image credit: Lacwal12]