Tag Archive: Ralph Izzo

Circling the wagons at Rutgers

The harshest – most amusing, truest – thing I read today about Rutgers President Robert Barchi’s public meeting in Newark today is that it will give those on the Newark campus an equal opportunity to yell at Barchi like denizens of the New Brunswick campus have had all week. Who said that? If you know, tell us, so I can attribute.  

Jeff Gardner was at town hall, and apparently asked The Question, and did it sharply and cleanly. He’ll write about that in a bit. But meanwhile, Rutgers also posted a news release today (read it in full here), I had to read through 6 times to figure out what the hell it was saying. Here’s part (bolding’s mine). This is what struck me as downright obfuscatory:

“During a news conference held at Rutgers University on Friday, April 5, I was asked if members of the Rutgers Board of Governors had seen last fall the video containing excerpts of men’s basketball practices. At the time, I responded that at the December 14, 2012 meeting of the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics the committee received a report that action had been taken with the head basketball coach for inappropriate behavior. I also stated that I had reviewed the minutes of the committee meeting and had spoken with some of the members who were present at the December 14 meeting. Also at the news conference last Friday I said that, while the details are a little unclear, what is clear is that video was reviewed.

“In continuing our lesson learned efforts, I was able to confirm on Saturday, April 6 that the chair of the Board of Governors Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics reviewed the video in early December. The video was not seen by the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics or by any other member of the Board of Governors.”

Huh? Seems to me the question for the Board of Governors, but particularly for Barchi, is not “When did you see the video?” but “What did you know and when did you know it?” It’s not really about the video; it’s about being tuned in enough to know what’s happening not just for university restructuring and high-level meetings, but student life on your campuses. Throw up clouds of dust in front of that and  Barchi’s tenure should be questioned.  

Press Conference Video: Rutgers President Barchi and Governing Board Chair

Video via NBC Sports of today’s press conference with Rutgers University President Robert Barchi and Ralph Izzo, Chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors. Video includes prepared statements, followed by questions from the press. It’s rough stuff, as Barchi particularly struggles to contain fallout from an embarrassing and troubling moment in Rutgers’ history – one that pushed out of sports reporting and into national news – and faces accusations about his own role.

ICYMI: Tough Questions at Rutgers, Top 10 Takeaways from Rutgers Mike Rice Mess, Mike Rice Roundup.

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Tough Questions at Rutgers: President Barchi & Governing Board Chair Izzo Face the Press

Rutgers President Barchi – under heavy fire for allowing basketball coach Mike Rice to verbally and physically abuse student players for years, even as he guided RU into the Big 10 – finished a tense press conference a few minutes ago with Board of Governors chief Ralph Izzo. It was an obvious attempt to present an administration united front, and gain control of a wildfire story that reflects poorly on Rutgers, and likely an attempt to salvage Barchi’s job.

At one point, Barchi said the practices (at which the damning video was recorded) were open. “All these practices were public. If you look at the back of the video – there are people there. And nobody said anything.”

At that point, there was an interruption from the front row, unclear if it was a reporter: “Sir, that’s not true – An assistant coach said something and nobody did anything!”

First, a recap of the last 24 hours:

  • Whistleblower Eric Murdock files wrongful termination suit.

  • Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, forced to resign.

  • Assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli, called “Baby Rice” resigns.

  • Interim general counsel John Wolf, reported as resigned.

  • 2 major donors are very unhappy today.
  • Reports say Pernetti likely out as Rutgers AD

    UPDATE: Press conference 1pm: RU President Robert Barchi will come out of his cone of silence, with Ralph Izzo, who heads the Rutgers Board of Governors. Scorching piece in NYTimes and mounting campus pressures must have Barchi and his administration at DEFCON 1. – Rosi

    Multiple outlets are now reporting that Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti will likely no longer hold that position. From the Star Ledger:

    According to multiple people informed of the decision, Pernetti is the latest casualty from the release of a compilation of video clips showing men’s basketball coach Mike Rice yelling profane and abusive language at his players and throwing basketballs at their heads during practices.

    The people were not authorized to speak publicly because the school had not made an official announcement.

    It was not immediately clear whether Pernetti would be fired or resign.

    And it’s important to note, Pernetti and Rice wouldn’t be the the only dominos to fall:

    Wednesday night, John B. Wolf, the general counsel at Rutgers, abruptly resigned. It was his recommendation in December that Rice not be fired.

    In addition, assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli, twice shown shoving a player during one segment on the tape, also resigned Wednesday.

    Who knows where this story will go next, but reports say there will be a 2pm press conference held by the University President, which of course is subject to change.