Rutgers officials are scrutinizing practice videos of all sports to see if any coach engaged in behavior such as the type that cost men's basketball coach Mike Rice his job.
TRENTON, N.J — Rutgers officials are scrutinizing practice videos of all sports to see if any coach engaged in behavior such as 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 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 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 at that time.
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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 resigned last week.
Some Rutgers faculty members and others called for Barchi to step down, too.
Christie defended Barchi’s performance while blasting Rice’s behavior.
Christie 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 Mark Hershhorn, chairman 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, a Republican, said at a news conference.
Hershhorn’s lawyer, Jennifer Joseph, said the governor is wrong about Hershhorn. Hershhorn immediately called for Rice to be fired after he saw the video in December, she said, declining to say where he made the recommendation.
Christie said the video cost Rice his credibility with young athletes and their families.
“What parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son after this video?” he said.
Former AD Pernetti, 42, is getting $1.2 million in salary, plus an iPad, car allowance and more than two years of health-insurance coverage under a settlement agreement.
Under his agreement with Rutgers, Pernetti is to be paid his base salary of $453,000 per year through June 2014 and a one-time payment of $679,500 in the next month.
Pernetti also gets his $12,000-per-year car allowance through June 2014 and health-insurance and pension payments through October 2015. He can keep his Rutgers-issued iPad and laptop computer.
Rutgers agreed to represent Pernetti in any lawsuits related to his job as AD.
Carl Kirschner, a former dean, has been named interim athletic director.