Rutgers will commission independent review in wake of Rice incident
TribLIVE Sports Videos
TRENTON, N.J. — Rutgers officials are scrutinizing practice videos of all sports to see if any coach engaged in behavior like the type that cost men's basketball coach Mike Rice his job, the university president announced Monday.
The inquiry into Rice and how university officials responded is also going deeper as the school announced that it plans to hire a consultant to conduct an independent review.
University President Robert Barchi, speaking Monday during a town hall meeting on the school's Newark campus, said he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately.
He also reiterated that he wished he had viewed the video where Rice — whom Gov. Chris Christie on Monday called an “animal” — shoved players and called them gay slurs when it first surfaced in November, saying he would have fired Rice then.
Rice was fired last week only after the video became public. Athletic director Tim Pernetti, an assistant basketball coach and the university's top lawyer also resigned last week, while some Rutgers faculty members and others called for Barchi to step down, too.
On Monday, Christie defended Barchi's performance while blasting Rice's behavior. He also criticized the reaction of those who knew about it and did not fire the coach months ago when the video was given to university officials and viewed by — at least — Pernetti, university interim counsel John Wolf and Chairman Mark Hershhorn of the university board of governors' athletics committee.
“They were wrong not to come to the conclusion that coach Rice needed to be fired immediately,” Christie said at a news conference.
In a statement released by his lawyer late Monday, Hershhorn said he did call for Rice's firing on the day in early December that he watched the video. He said he told Pernetti that if the video was authenticated, Rice needed to be terminated immediately. Contrary to his recommendation, Hershhorn said, the university chose to discipline Rice instead of let him go.
The Rutgers administration would not comment on Hershhorn's account of events.
While the governor had issued statements previously, it was the first time Christie took questions about the scandal at the state's flagship public university.
The Republican governor added that had he been aware of the issues earlier he would have used his “power of persuasion” to try to get Rice fired then.
He said he viewed the video not only as a governor but as the father of a college athlete. His son, Andrew, plays baseball at Princeton.
“You're talking about kids being miserably treated by the guy who determined whether they keep their scholarship or not,” Christie said. “What parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son after this video?”
Christie said it was a mistake for Barchi, who took office in September, not to watch the video last year when he first was told about it. But he said that leaders of large organizations must delegate some matters and that the mistake was not a firing offense.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Sting making history fighting for WWE title
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- RB Williams believes he’s making seamless transition to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Continuing legend of Pirate Ray
- Injured DT Render missing from Pitt depth chart
- Vintage drive-in theaters’ prices, upgrades still draw in Western Pa.
- Derry Township man killed in ATV crash
- White lion Prince dies at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
- Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
- Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing