New Rutgers AD has faced scandal of her own
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]utgers has named Julie Hermann as athletic director, replacing Tim Pernetti who was fired last month in the wake of the Mike Rice player abuse scandal.
Hermann is the school’s first female athletic director, and will be just the second in Big Ten history and only current female AD when Rutgers moves from the Big East next year. Merrily Dean Baker, Michigan State’s athletic director from 1992-95, was the first.
Most recently the senior associate athletic director at the University of Louisville, Hermann was selected over Wisconsin deputy athletic director Sean Frazier, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
The school’s six-member executive athletic committee was deadlocked at 3-3 between Hermann and Frazier, and Hermann was chosen by an emergency vote by the 11-member Board of Governors, the Ledger said.
“I’m a builder at heart and part of my attraction for this opportunity is knowing that many things are coming together,” Hermann said during a news conference Wednesday. “A fantastic academic institution, an athletic department with some great tradition and the opportunity in the Big Ten, which we will take advantage of to continue to position ourselves to get as competitive as possible in as many sports as we can.”
She becomes just the third female to hold the top athletic department position at a school in a BCS conference, joining N.C. State’s Debbie Yow and Cal’s Sandy Barbour.
Hermann was an all-conference volleyball player at the University of Nebraska from 1981-84, and spent the past 16 seasons in athletic administration at Louisville.
According to her profile on the school’s website, Hermann supervised 20 of Louisville’s 23 sports, including football and basketball, as well as student development, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, marketing and the academic unit. The Cardinals football team won the Sugar Bowl in 2012 and the men’s basketball team won the national championship.
Pernetti was fired following the ouster of Rice and the resignation of assistant Jimmy Martelli.
Rice was let go after ESPN aired practice video showing the former coach hurling basketballs at players, shoving them and berating them with gay slurs. Pernetti was roundly criticized for Rice’s punishment before ESPN aired the video, which included a three-game suspension and $50,000 fine.
On April 23, Rutgers hired former Scarlet Knights player Eddie Jordan, the school’s all-time leader in assists and steals, as Rice’s replacement.
Jordan’s Rutgers bio claimed he gradated from the school with a degree in bio health and physical education, but the website Deadspin did some digging and found that Jordan never actually graduated from the school at all.
Having a degree is not a requirement for a head coach in the state of New Jersey, so Jordan’s job is safe, but it was another in a string of embarrassing moments for the Scarlet Knights.
Hermann does not come without skeletons in her own closet. From Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger:
In the case of Hermann, the senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at the University of Louisville, a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Tennessee when she was the head volleyball coach there is something Rutgers officials would have to reconcile if she is hired.
Assistant volleyball coach Ginger Hineline won her $150,000 suit against the school in 1997.
According to the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel’s reporting on the suit, Hineline said she asked Hermann if she would lose her job if she became pregnant and that Hermann responded by saying “I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
“Julie and I had various conversations that discouraged me from becoming pregnant,” the paper quoted Hineline as saying.
Photo credit: Michelle Hutchins / Louisville Athletics