Rutgers AD Committee Members, Leaders Disagree

Submitted by BlueDragon on May 29th, 2013 at 11:28 PM


According to media reports, e-mail exchanges between AD search committee members and leaders on Tuesday showed very different perspectives on the quality of the search process.

On Tuesday afternoon, as politicians and major Rutgers donors were publicly criticizing the university for hiring Julie Hermann, an athletic director with a checkered history, the leaders of the search committee sent an e-mail to the group’s members assuring them that the process that led to Hermann’s hiring had been fair and transparent. In e-mailed responses, however, at least two committee members claimed that the leaders had whitewashed a process that felt secretive and rushed, leaving them uncomfortable with the university’s selection of Hermann.


I am not suprised at the disagreement between those with the most responsibility and those with less. What drew my attention the most was the attempt by the committee leaders to assure everyone involved that the process had been just, even as criticism poured in.



May 29th, 2013 at 11:51 PM ^

IMO when I look at Hermann, I can read psychobitch a mile away. You can almost see it radiating from her face. If I was a donor, I would be a little peeved myself


May 30th, 2013 at 12:05 AM ^

I'm not sure many of us wanted them to join the conference in the first place. Cincinnati and UConn are arguably better than Rutgers in football and (especially) basketball. Delaney just wanted the market not necessarily the school which was the biggest mistake.


May 30th, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

Just to clarify -- from a TV perspective, UConn is outside the NYC sphere and thus it was never an option. Adding UConn doesn't get you on basic cable in New York City. UConn is improving academically, and it could eventually qualify for the AAU (although it has a Nebraska problem, with the medical school not part of the main campus), but it will never be in the NYC footprint.

I'm not really sure if adding Rutgers automatically gets you there, but at least you have a fighting chance (the main campus is less than 30 miles from Wall Street), especially if they become competitive in the Big Ten.

You laugh, and New Jersey is a state with a perpetual identity crisis -- but it has deep pockets and having Michigan or Ohio State visiting every year isn't going to hurt their recruiting or their fundraising. That's why this failure to see the public-relations problem with hiring this person (regardless of whether or not it is fair to her) is so disheartening, given the circumstances of the vacancy. I don't think the Big Ten is wrong to see potential in Rutgers -- but it can't be happy with its current leadership.


May 30th, 2013 at 6:45 AM ^

I am from New York. I live in suburbia on Long Island, and work in NYC. If Delany thinks that adding Rutgers is going to get him a single east coast tv view, then he didn't do his market research. Nobody in NY gives a single shit about Rutgers. There are far more Michigan, Indiana, duke, Florida and Penn State fan (along with another 10-15 schools) than there are Rutgers.


May 30th, 2013 at 12:16 AM ^

I'm pretty sure you could pick any random Div 1A school and they would likely be a better fit for the B1G than Rutgers.  Rutgers is a complete disaster that adds nothing to the conference. 

There is a reason no other major conference wanted them. 


May 30th, 2013 at 8:22 AM ^

You can't say they add nothing.  Geographically, adding two East Coast schools is a big deal - it means that the Big Ten is no longer just a Midwestern league.    If Rutgers gets killed by Michigan and OSU every year, maybe that's not good for them but it's great for UM and OSU, who now extend their reach to the East Coast.  Kids growing up in those states are going to get used to seeing us visit every other year.  It changes the dynamic a lot.

I was not in favor of expanding beyond 12 teams, but given that Delany & Co. were determined to do so, I can understand this.




May 30th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

Michigan is already on national TV almost every week.  If kids growing up on the east coast want to watch a Michigan game, it's already out there to watch.  Having them play a team that no one in the entire country cares about (Rutgers) once a year isn't going to suddenly make them more likely to tune in. 

Getting eyeballs these days is about QUALITY.  There are so many options available.  Michigan already is out there all the time.  The key is to have top-notch opponents.  Rutgers is NEVER going to be that.  They are always going to be junk.  Adding Penn State and Nebraska added games that people wanted to tune in for.  Adding Rutgers just added a game that 90% of people will tune out.

Sure, for any die-hard Michigan fans living in NJ or NYC this is great for them as they can now easily go to one Michigan game every other year.  Outside of them, this deal stinks.


May 30th, 2013 at 12:56 PM ^

Again, it's not so much about Rutgers and Maryland as that now, Big Ten teams are going to be regularly playing games in New Jersey and Maryland.  That alone represents a big change.  The league has been dismissed as just a Midwestern entity by outsiders, but now it's more just a Northern league in general, from Nebraska to the Atlantic.

Yes, we are on national TV frequently, but it's a different ballgame when we're going to be actually playing games on the East Coast frequently.  It becomes a local story for those areas, too.  Even if not many people care about Rutgers, we'll get a lot of coverage in the NY media whenever we play them.  People can watch Michigan play in person on the East Coast now.  That's a big deal.  We are now effectively part of that region.

You can scoff now, but watch - we're going to start doing a lot more recruiting on the East Coast now.  There are already some kids in NJ who grow up Michigan fans (like Peppers) but there's going to be even more in the future.


Ty Butterfield

May 30th, 2013 at 12:16 AM ^

Seems like it might have been a good idea to conduct an exhaustive search in order to find the best candidate instead of hiring someone right away. I guess that is crazy talk. Also, I hope this topic is good enough for uniqenam. He is very sensitive about this stuff.


May 30th, 2013 at 2:49 AM ^

So are the leaders claiming they did a good job then? Are they then admitting they knew this stuff and hired her anyway? I feel like admitting you did a shitty job with the hiring process is better than saying you knew about her skeletons and didn't care.

Not making NJ look good here, people. Brady Hoke East needs to step in here and handle some shit.


May 30th, 2013 at 4:13 AM ^

I am guessing that the real "psycho" here is whoever she pissed off badly enough to start this smear campaign.  A bunch of disgruntled players wrote a letter 16 years ago, and an assistant who made an unsubstantiated claim of harassment at a different school didn't have her contract renewed.  

I would buy into this a lot more if someone actually proved that she did anything bad enough to disqualify her from the AD job at Rutgers.  Whoever she pissed off is doing a great job, though.  Her job is in question over unsubstantiated allegations by disgruntled players and a disgruntled assistant coach.  

It's a jungle out there.


May 30th, 2013 at 7:43 AM ^

I wouldn't describe lawsuits that went to trial "unsubstantiated."

The question isn't whether she pissed somebody off - anybody who gets to where she is has almost certainly pissed several sombodies off. The question is whether Rutgers has the first clue of how to do an A.D. search properly, especially given the circumstances under which the search was necessary.

Either they didn't know about these issues, or thought they wouldn't be a potential problem that needed to be anticipated. Both of these possibilities reflect an absurd degree of irresponsibility on the part of those who made this hiring decision and have handled the ensuing controversy.

As for Hermann, Rutgers can have her - maybe she'll do a good job, maybe she won't. My concern lies well above the A.D. position. If I'm the B1G (and as an alum of a B1G school), I'm wondering just who the hell I've gotten into bed with.

Monocle Smile

May 30th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

She was Mike Rice before Mike Rice was Mike Rice, fired an assistant for getting pregnant...and then LIED about all that when questioned recently. Making this out to be someone out for revenge against an innocent person is rather dishonest.


May 30th, 2013 at 9:02 AM ^

It wasn't just "a bunch of disgruntled players". It  was the entire team. They accused her of many of the same types of things that cost Rutger's basketball coach his job and ultimately  the AD for not firing him fast enough. 

You did not include the assistant  that filed a suit against her and Tennessee (the same school) and won a $ 150,000 settlement. She was caught on tape at that assistant's wedding (where she was a bridgesmaid and caught the bouquet) telling her not to get pregnant. When she did she lost her job.Now the new AD claims she doesn't think they even had a wedding. Videos don't lie.

She still claims she was unaware of her team's letter yet members of the team say they saw it handed to her. She was then immediately terminated  as coach. 

This person has trust issues.

Cold War

May 30th, 2013 at 6:02 AM ^

Conspiracy theory - the SEC-worshipping media is trying to ensure Rutgers and it's New York market are less of  an asset for the  B1G. These scandals seem to get a disproportionate share of coverage, led by the four letter network.


May 30th, 2013 at 8:14 AM ^

I'm not saying she's the right person for the job by any means...

at least two committee members claimed that the leaders had whitewashed a process that felt secretive and rushed,

...but almost all hirings of this nature produce this kind of complaint. Schools are under pressure to have an AD in place as soon as possible. They're not going to take their sweet ol' time, and some people are inevitably going to be left out of the loop.


May 30th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^

Here's a story from Star-Ledger that provides some quotes on the numerous views of the vetting process for this hire as well (LINK).

This story starts with Governor Christie's stance on the controversy, which appears to be that he will let Rutgers handle the situation basically.

There is also a segment on how someone on Executive Athletic Committee claims that the lawsuits were known to them and not a factor in the hire. Apparently, Rutgers is also disputing the claim that Hermann was not on the original list of candidates submitted by the search firm, although it appears - based on this - that her name was made known to the firm via the Committee based on some discussions with the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. 

On the flip side, a Rutgers dean who was on the committee (but admits to limited involvement in the process) said she was mystified that two firms vetted  / interviewed Hermann (Parker Executive Search and a security consulting firm) and they apparently did not find "red flags" in her past work history. 

It was said in the thread about this story when it first appeared, but it bears repeating - Rutgers really should have gone for a unifying hire in the wake of this scandal, someone who could help to begin the process of mending the department's reputation. This is about as large a swing and miss as you can make. 


May 30th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

After firing Rice and Pernetti, Rutgers needed to hire someone with a completely clean reputation.    It shouldn't have mattered whether those claims have merit--- given Rutgers' situation, they should have automatically disqualified Hermann.  A low-DI school or a school looking to replace an AD under ordinary circumstances could go ahead and take a chance with Hermann.  

A school coming off a huge player abuse controversy while moving into the Big 10 hiring someone with a trail of issues (including player abuse)?    Just a stupid, idiotic move.



May 30th, 2013 at 1:07 PM ^

That's the problem!  Rutgers IS a low-D1 school!  They can pretend they're not and B1G officials can say that they are going to be players, but they're small-time.  Name one significant thing about Rutgers.  Have they won any titles?  Any recognizable traditions, history, rivalries, fans, or national presence?  Are there any nationally-renowned academic programs, professors, schools, or classes at Rutgers?  We act like Rutgers should be used to scrutiny, but they aren't.  This is a small potato.