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Rutgers’ new athletic director under scrutiny for allegations of verbal abuse


Rutgers University is involved in another athletic controversy two months after the men’s basketball coach was fired over charges of verbally abusing players.

Julie Hermann, the university’s new athletic director, was accused of verbally abusing student players as a volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee in 1996, the Star-Ledger first reported in an article on Saturday.

This month Hermann was introduced as the new athletic director, an appointment that soon began a Facebook conversation among some of her former Tennessee players, and now around the country.

“The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable,” the team’s 15 players wrote in a letter.

Specifically, they said the coach had called them “whores, alcoholics, and learning disabled.”

But Rutgers supports Hermann and the decision to hire her.

“Looking at Julie’s entire record of accomplishment, which is stellar, we remain confident that we have selected an individual who will work in the best interests of all of our student athletes, our athletics teams, and the university,” Rutgers Pres. Robert Barchi said in a statement Tuesday supporting Hermann.

She was previously the assistant to the Louisville athletic director for 16 years.

“How do you not look into her past as a coach when you hire her as the [athletic director]?” Chris Russo, host of the Mad Dogs Sports Show, said Tuesday on AMR.

Mike Rice, head coach of the Rutgers Men’s basketball team, was fired in April after a video of him throwing basketballs at athletes and using gay slurs aired on ESPN.

Rutgers' new athletic director under scrutiny for allegations of verbal abuse