Skip to content

Report: Rutgers AD inflicted “mental cruelty” in her own coaching days

May 26, 2013, 12:19 AM EDT

Julie Hermann AP

A couple of words the board at Rutgers might want to re-acquaint themselves with: “due” and “diligence”.

Just weeks ago, Scarlet Knights men’s head basketball coach Mike Rice was fired for verbally and physically abusing his players during practice, in a scandal that also took down the school’s AD. Rutgers alum Eddie Jordan was hired to right the ship, only to have it come out in the press that he had never actually earned his diploma from the school.

And if that weren’t enough, recently-hired AD Julie Hermann has come under fire for insensitive statements she allegedly made when she was coaching women’s volleyball at Tennessee. Allegations that she had verbally bullied a subordinate with coercive statements about the assistant’s desire to have children surfaced, but that, as we discovered today, may only be the tip of the iceberg. published a story late on Saturday alleging that Hermann may have been Rice-like in her own behavior while at Tennessee.

Read the full report here.

As recently as Friday night, the school maintained that it had reviewed Hermann’s record thoroughly and intended to retain her in her current capacity as Athletic Director. These new allegations may be too much for the school’s already gun-shy administration to take. The University President has narrowly survived calls for his own resignation, and yet another black eye for the school may presage more drastic responses to come.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

  1. larrybrown43 - May 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    As I gotten older I’ve realize how silly some of these motivational tactics are by coaches. Why are they done? Not to build character as the coach always implies. Rather, it’s because the coach is afraid of getting fired and has no innate resources to lead people other than abuse.

    That should be interview question number one. What tactics do you use to motivate your team when things aren’t going well. The Bob Knight types shouldn’t be applauded and still doing restaurant commercials. They should have been charged with abuse.

    Rutgers is looking like the Keystone Cops are running the place.

  2. tunabumblebee - May 26, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    Well worth clicking the link in the steve politi tqitter post above:

    She doesnt remember being at that wedding, she doesnt remember that letter, she doesnt remember the actions of her entire team? No way, impossible. LIAR

  3. sw19womble - May 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    She seems rather cold and prickly, but fair enough.

    However, she’s foolish for trying the whole “misremembered” route. That doesn’t work any more.

    Rutgers = SNAFU

    • sabatimus - May 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      FUBAR would be my acronym of choice.

  4. packhawk04 - May 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I dont have an issue with the bob knight types. Yeah, he went overboard and deservedly was fired for choking niel reed, but when he bereated his players, it was always about basketball. Bear bryant used to make fun of a players deceased mother because he knew the player took it very personally. Not knight. The personal and physical stuff is where i draw the line, which is why i agreed with knights firing. But, again, for years, yeah he called them names, yeah he screamed at them, but it was because of what they did on the basketball court.

  5. padraighansen - May 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Adding this fucking joke of a university to the Big 10 should cost Delaney his gig as well. Unbelievable. Who the fuck is making decisions at that school? Jay & Silent Bob?

  6. brsinai - May 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    More evidence of the Wussification of America. Sports at this level and above are tough. It takes discipline and one should expect demanding coaches that will try to get the most out of their players. While I agree that abusive physical contact crosses the line, I don’t feel that coaches that are verbally or even mentally expressive are harmful. Remember folks, sports is voluntary and if a kid gets his/her feeling hurt, they should either quit or go elsewhere to play. I will pretty much guarantee, though, the best teams have tough coaching, and kids tend to love demanding coaches.

    • Eric Angevine - May 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Horse excrement, my friend. Did John Wooden kick his dog? Does Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart throw things during practice? I’ve watched Kentucky practice, and John Calipari is demanding but not insulting. Having high standards for your players does not equate to verbal abuse. In my opinion, coaches should be held to the same standards other university employees must follow at bare minimum – you can be tough on a student in your class, but to yell at them would not be considered effective teaching under any circumstances.

    • sabatimus - May 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      The verbal abuse of my coach was the reason I quit instructional league baseball when I was I think 11 years old. Being tough is one thing; referring to players’ anatomy pejoratively is not something I enjoy.

  7. larrybrown43 - May 26, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. It’s psychologically damaging. Being demeaned, or humiliated doesn’t build character. Defending it makes one seem like an abuser or someone in denial.

    • sabatimus - May 26, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      I’d argue that emotional abuse is far worse than physical, though admittedly one’s emotions can and most often are abused when there’s physical abuse.

  8. pastabelly - May 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    The school should investigate and fire her if this is true. She landed that job only because the firing of an out of control catch led to the resignation of the Athletics Director. Makes no sense to allow her to have this job. It shouldn’t matter that she is the first female AD at a major university

  9. philliephaninva - May 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    You don’t have to be a bully to be a good coach. Coaches that resort to bully tactics are coaches that don’t have the necessary qualities to be true leaders. I’d like to see Rice or Hermann try these kind of tactics at the pro level. They’d get to swallow their teeth.

  10. edavidberg - May 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I guess there was a reason Rutgers sucks at athletics. Why in the world is the Big Ten letting these clowns in again?

    Hermann needs to be fired immediately and the idiots that did the background check and the ones that hired her need to be fired.

    I’m simply incredulous that a woman who abruptly left coaching under strange circumstance was hired as a major conference AD without first investigating her coaching tenure. Particularly when she was found liable for discrimination while said coach. The level of incompetence here is simply amazing.

  11. drewsylvania - May 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Fuck college athletics. Separate the athletics from the school and set up a minor league for each sport. No more of the corruption, abuse, lying, and thievery that these “institutions” bring. Higher learning my ass. It’s a goddamn joke and everyone knows it.

  12. drone501 - May 26, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    somehow i picture her in black garter belts, leather bra and a whip and chains, lol

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!