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Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi acknowledges ‘failure of process’ (VIDEO)

Apr 5, 2013, 3:28 PM EDT

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Just a couple hours after athletic director Tim Pernetti stepped down as a result of his handling of former head basketball coach Mike Rice’s behavior during practices, Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi met the press to offer his own explanation of the situation.

According to Barchi, who has received a public vote of confidence from the school’s board of governors, stated during the press conference that despite hearing about the video back in November he did not see the footage until this week.

“This was a failure of process. I regret that I did not ask to see this video when Tim first told me of its existence,” Barchi said, according to the Associated Press. “I want to apologize to the entire Rutgers community for the negative impact that this situation has had on Rutgers.

“I also apologize to the LGBT community and all of us who share their values for the homophobic slurs shown on that video. I personally know how hurtful that language can be.”

Pernetti, 42, is a Rutgers graduate who played football at the school and was a driving force behind its impending move from the Big East to the Big Ten.

MORE: Rutgers releases Pernetti’s letter of resignation

Barchi’s position appears to be safe. Ralph Izzo, chairman of the school’s board of directors said “at the end of the day, he has to run this place, day in and day out. And I think he is the right person to run this place for many years to come.”

In the video both Rice and former assistant coach Jimmy Martelli can be seen berating and shoving players during practice, and both were also witnessed throwing basketballs at players. Barchi stated that he agreed with Pernetti’s decision back in December to suspend Rice for his actions, but changed his mind once he saw video of the coach’s transgressions.

In his letter of resignation Pernetti stated that he originally wanted to fire Rice, however after consulting with legal counsel the consensus was that “university policy would not justify dismissal.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also issued a statement on the day’s events:

“The decision today by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti to resign is appropriate and necessary given the events of the past six months. I commend President Barchi for his decisive leadership in coming to an agreement with Mr. Pernetti to have the Athletic Department of Rutgers University come under new leadership.

“This entire incident was regrettable and while it has damaged the reputation of our state University, we need to move forward now on a number of fronts which provide great opportunities for Rutgers’ future. Completing the ground-breaking merger agreement with UMDNJ. Preparing for our academic and athletic entry into the Big 10 conference. Implementing Rutgers’ share of New Jersey’s $1.3 billion capital commitment to higher education. Finally, conducting a national search for a new athletic director and a new men’s basketball coach for athletic competition next year and in 2014 for our entry to the Big 10.

Rice’s behavior initially came to light due to allegations made by former director of basketball development Eric Murdock, who filed a wrongful termination suit against the school on Friday in state court. He claims the university violated the state’s employee protection act and his contract. His contract wasn’t renewed in July.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

  1. rayburns - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Also terminated was the counsel who made the recommendation to fine and suspend Rice over Pernetti’s original thought to fire Rice.

    Barchi may have saved his job by finding the counsel who changed Pernetti’s mind.

  2. jimmyhisself - Apr 5, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    This is utterly ridiculous. I do not condone the coach’s actions and I have not seen all the footage, but what I have is hardly damning. The loop I’ve seen shows the coach body checking players, throwing a ball at their feet in what looks like him trying to get them to break a bad habit they have on court.

    So not only the coach is fired but now the AD has to resign? Seriously mamby pamby. I doubt Rutgers will ever win another game building a team of babies like this.

    Maybe we just make all their Mom’s the coaches??

    • richinlesta - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Mindsets like yours are part of the problem.

    • jsm11 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Being tough on your players is not the problem, but using stereotypical language is a no-no on today’s high definition audio, like it or not. But don’t worry, there will be other colleges who will hire these guys again, am sure, because college athletic is such a big thing.

    • magnusmina21h23z - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      “Maybe we just make all their Mom’s the coaches??”

      Hell Yeah, why not? Their Moms could probably do just as good a job, if not better, for half the price and bring out a Winning Team! Notice the article didn’t mention that both of these losers got big bonuses as they walked out the door too! FOR WHAT?! Being the Biggest Assholes!

      It is called Team Sports for a reason – win or lose – it is called sportsmanship – a life lesson! The chances of one of these guys being an NBA Star is 1:1,000,000, so there is a life lesson here and these coaches were teaching them the wrong lessons in a nutshell! We can see that you didn’t go to Rutgers, THAT I KNOW!

  3. jprcox - Apr 5, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    I don’t see where this involved the need for the athletic director to step down – now its just an over-reaction. From the standpoint that the coach would have never gotten good recruiting following this event, him being fired was necessary. Now the athletic director being forced to resign is WAY overreaction….which is “failure of process” by the board. When does it stop?

    • adelgros - Apr 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      The heads rolling is a testament to America’s politically correct position on everything, and don’t think for a moment that the hot button gay issue is at the top of the priority list for political correctness. Never do I condone loose cannon coaches who think they are the deity. The coach most likely needed to go, but the AD didn’t. People in those positions must be walking continually on egg shells wondering when the next faux pas will cost them their jobs!

      • richinlesta - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        A Directors job is to make sure there ARE no faux pas!

  4. adelgros - Apr 5, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Sports coaches at nearly all levels are often out of control with almost no accountability! My kid’s LL coach was demeaning, insulting and disgraceful in his treatment of 9-12 year olds, so I am not shocked at this guys behavior and speech. Coaches are allowed to function as tyrants and dictators, demanding obedience and obeisance alike. Sports in general has become so hyper-valued that local TV does professional style interviews with high school football players! Until athletics finds its way home as the exercise and general enjoyment that it was intended to be, we will continue to see the kind of abuses witnessed at Rutgers.

  5. richinlesta - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    It’s become laughable. EVERYONE is sorry after the fact, yet stuff like this is happening every day in America, and will continue to happen as long as “winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing” continues to be America’s rally cry. Joe Paterno, Bernie Madoff, Jeffrey Skilling, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, any banker–the list goes on and on–cheat, lie, steal, swindle, coerce, bully, etc. to “win.” What they don’t realize, however, is that they’re all losers. Winning more games than the next guy, or making more money than the next guy all means absolutely NOTHING when you die. People will remember you for who you were as a person, not for what you may have managed to accomplish through your twisted, evil ways. Character and integrity is what counts. Oh, by the way–to Robert Bachi–it wasn’t a “failure of process”; It was a failure of YOU. Don’t point the finger in any other direction than towards the mirror.

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