Julie Hermann should do every woman in America who has professional aspirations in the sports world a favor and resign. Not often do women get the chance to be an AD in a BCS Conference and her insistence that she deserves the opportunity is disgraceful. She was able to get the job after AD Tim Pernetti was forced out for actions of former basketball coach Mike Rice and his treatment of players.
Rice’s firing, coupled with Pernetti’s job loss, should have signaled that Rutgers was saddened and sickened. It should have signaled that they learned from their mistakes and would take these lessons forward as a program. The thing that really irritates me on this is that the public clamored for Pernetti’s job for initially giving very loose support for Rice. Isn’t that what you want from leadership? The fact that he didn’t rush to immediate judgement before making decisions that change people’s lives is what an honest person would want out of their bosses. Eventually Rutgers gave in to the public pressure and forced Pernetti out. For context, I’m not in a huge disagreement with that decision.
Fast forward to the last few weeks. Around the 1rst of May, reports of a discrimination lawsuit involving Julie Hermann surfaced. While coaching volleyball in 1997 at Tennessee, she lost a $150,000 decision for the Volunteers by telling an assistant coach she was fired for poor performance. The problem was that she was caught on camera saying that is was because the assistant coach was pregnant. This is strictly prohibited in numerous forms of legislation such as the The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. This is just the tip of the iceberg…
The very thing that cost Pernetti and Rice their jobs was abuse of players. Hermann decided to quit her job 16 years ago as the volleyball coach at Tennessee rather than face the allegations of all 15 of her players. The 15 players went on to write a letter to the Tennessee AD. The players said Hermann called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled” and they wrote: “It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue.” She was also accused of abuse such as forcing players to do 100 push-ups during games and making the team wear practice clothes inside out in hopes to humiliate them. The funny thing is how awful she had to be for her players to go to this measure. Rice’s players didn’t even do this. He was caught on camera. Herman’s response to their letter shows more unapologetic arrogance, “I choose not to coach you guys.”
You may not believe it but it gets worse. When recently asked about this situation by the Star-Ledger Hermann answered, “I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that. None of this is familiar to me.” How dumb does Hermann think the public is? She expects people to believe that she doesn’t remember why she left Tennessee? Give me a break with those lies.
Her comments continue to show her lack of remorse. “I never considered withdrawing because I feel very qualified to lead Rutgers into the future and into the transition into the Big Ten and I do feel the support of the Rutgers community.”
Her alleged abuse at Tennesee was so bad that “Several women said playing for Hermann had driven them into depression and counseling, and that her conduct had sullied the experience of playing Division I volleyball.” As the plot thickens, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to speak to the Rutgers officials.
The thing that makes me so angry is how “Public Correctness” and not “doing the right thing” is driving every decision at Rutgers. Mike Rice was fired because the public demanded it after his abuse of players. I’m ok with that. Tim Pernetti was forced out because the public demanded it for not immediately canning Rice. I’m not near as behind this decision because I’m a fan of due diligence but i can live with it. The only reason Hermann isn’t being disqualified is because she’s a woman. I guarantee Rutgers fears the womenist groups that would no doubt be after them if they disqualified Hermann. The PC crux that they now find themselves in is that a large portion of the public is getting vocal about keeping her. The common sense thought is how could you hire an AD who is a proven discriminator and probable abuser right after essentially firing 2 men for abuse? It defies logic and reasoning. I could deal with her hiring if she would acknowledge her mistakes and apologize. In my mind, there are too many extremely intelligent women who are qualified to be a BCS AD for an unapologetic abuser to cling to her job and skirt honesty and reason like Nancy Pelosi.