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With Rice scandal looming, Rutgers hires new top lawyer

Apr 13, 2013, 1:47 PM EST

Robert Barchi AP

Since former Rutgers coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tom Pernetti were fired amid the scandal involving Rice’s abuse of players in practices, there’s been a bit of turnover. The school has now hired a new top lawyer to deal with the case.

The school also announced it would launch and independent review into the incident.

In announcing the independent review, board Vice Chairman Gerald Harvey also condemned Rice’s actions.

“It is our continuing commitment that all students are treated with respect and dignity and no single program is allowed to undermine that commitment,” he said.

John Wolf, the school’s former top attorney, recently resigned. It was reported that Wolf approved Rice’s three-game suspension back in December.

Wolf has been at the school since 1984.

President Robert Barchi recently received support from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and all signs point to Barchi keeping his job after all this.

It seems like anyone who was even remotely involved with the handling of Rice’s punishment back in December is being shown the door, with Wolf being the latest in that line. With that said, it seems like Barchi playing the naive card is saving him his position and some of his credibility with government officials and the board. What he’s been saying could very well be the whole truth, but it’s hard to stomach a decision like this with the man at the very top getting off without punishment.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten