Based on new information shared on Oct. 5, 2013, by Matt Sugam, on the site snyrutgers.com, just add a “+1” to the tote board on the “top ten reasons” that Rutgers should never have placed Julie Hermann in the position of Athletic Director.
Today’s reason includes Sugam’s story that notes “there are accusations that the women’s lacrosse coach at Louisville, Kellie Young, was an abusive coach that created a ‘culture of fear’ while Hermann was her supervisor."
The upshot is that some students and parents of those student-athletes at Louisville complained to Hermann, formerly the AD of Louisville, about Young as being an abusive coach back in 2012, and were misled by Hermann that Young was to be disciplined, or even fired, Sugam reported.
A sampling of the complaint against Young included her making a player with injurires doing 250 push-ups as punishment in an airport terminal, kicked a player off the team and then left her behind at the stadium when the team bus returned to the hotel on a road trip, and called players names that are not going to be printed here. What did Hermann do about this coach and the complaint against her? The parents claim that Hermann misled them that she was actually addressing the issue.
To be clear, this was not abuse at the hand of Hermann, but the entire point of having a university athletic director is to oversee the conduct of the coaches, the implementation and adherence to NCAA policies and procedures that guarantee fair, equal, safe conditions for student-athletes enrolled in the university to participate in sports and receive an education—with respect and dignity—and no fear of retaliation, repercussions, or retribution for doing same.
This is not Hermann’s first rodeo. Officials at Rutgers University virtually ignored the well-known allegations against Hermann for being a “verbally abusive head coach at Tennessee in the mid-90s.”
What’s worse is that Hermann had not even begun her first work day at Rutgers when “someone” rushed her in to her new title, and the word somehow got out about the Tennessee troubles. At first when the allegations came out New Jersey governor Chris Christie was interested in looking into the problem, and said as much to journalists. The next day, however, Christie mumbled something about not wanting to micromanage a state university, blah blah blah. Right, the future presidential hopeful “danced the little sidestep.”
Next, there is Rutgers’ administration, four months later, learning even more about their Athletic Director and her past experience at the job she’d just exited before fleeing Kentucky for beautiful New Jersey. What did they do? Painted her office, put her name on the door, and welcomed her with open arms.
What’s at stake to keep covering up and smoothing over and glossing up clear-cut examples of persons unfit to lead any program for young women or young men who are bringing their best to a school? Wherein do the school leaders hand over their responsibility for conducting a thorough investigation and doing due diligence before hiring people they are going to pay six- and seven-figure salaries to?
More importantly, would any of the people who hired Hermann be willing to let their daughters participate in programs with abusive coaches in the lead? Not likely. Would any of the regents of Rutgers stand idly by, drinking Starbucks lattes, while their daughters were insulted, scorned, and treated inhumanely by a staffer, while that staffers’s boss, herself accused of abusive behavior that remains unresolved, refused to address allegations of abuse?
Who will protect the children of Rutgers? It doesn’t matter if they’re 18, 19, 20, or 21 years old. They are still children. When will someone at Rutgers wake up and smell the coffee? Is this really the reputation Rutgers seeks to have?
On Oct. 3, Kelly Heyboer of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that the formerly unaffiliated school planned to move its team into the Big Ten conference.
“Rutgers University expects to pull in at least an additional $200 million over 12 years by moving its athletic teams to the Big Ten conference, school officials said Wednesday. The estimate was given to the Rutgers Board of Governors during a briefing on the state university’s costly move to the more prestigious conference. Rutgers is scheduled to move into the Big Ten next July 1.”
Really? Theatre of the absurd is alive and well and living in New Brunswick, New Jersey, because the “culture of fear” continues, just weeks away from Halloween. Trick or treat, Rutgers regents.