Pernetti Out as Rutgers Athletic Director

Yesterday, GLAAD reported that Rutgers University Head Men's Basketball Coach, Mike Rice, had been fired from the university after being caught on camera shouting anti-gay slurs and physically abusing his players.  The firing came after Rutgers received a lot of heat for not taking enough action against Rice after administrators there were made aware of the video of the Rice's inappropriate coaching methods. See that video below.

Now, It has been reported that Rutgers Athletic Dirctor Tim Pernetti has handed in his letter of resignation over the incident. He directly addresses the actions he took in handling the situation involving Coach rice, stating, "I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved." Pernetti initially defended his handling of Rice when the video of the coach first went viral. However, he later retracted this sentiment, stating, "dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong.'' Rice's initial punishment was a mere 3-game suspension and fines totaling around $75,000.

You can't help but think that Pernetti would not have been in this situation if he had just fired Rice way back in November—when a former Rutgers basketball employee first showed him the footage.  Pernetti received a lot of support from fans and alumni when it first seemed that he may lose his position at the school; most likely due to the fact that Pernetti spearheaded Rutgers move to the much more profitable Big Ten Conference as the Big East began to disintegrate.

Not everyone was in favor of the AD, however. New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said, "For the good of the school, its students and its faculty, he should either resign or be removed from his position immediately". Additionally, NJ Governor Chris Christie, who didn't specifically call out Rice or Pernetti, did release this statement after viewing the video: "It's not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University".

Those questions were answered. Everyone may not agree with the decision made by Rutgers to dismiss Rice and and seemingly force Pernetti's resignation, but it was still the right thing to do. It is important for college administration to show students that they are entering into a safe and inclusive environment. Even if Rice shows contriteness for his actions, it is not in Rutgers best interest to project themselves as the school that failed to fire a physically and verbally abusive coach.

Related Stories

 

GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism