Pernetti out as Rutgers AD

9:47 AM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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New Brunswick, NJ (Sports Network) - The Mike Rice scandal at Rutgers has apparently cost Tim Pernetti his job as athletic director.

The Newark Star-Ledger cited sources as saying Pernetti became the latest domino to fall in the wake of Rice's firing on Wednesday. The school has yet to announce the move and the paper said it was initially unclear if Pernetti was fired or had resigned.

Rutgers has called a press conference for Friday afternoon.

Rice was dismissed as men's head basketball coach after videotape of his behavior during practice was released by ESPN on Tuesday. On Thursday, men's assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli announced his resignation for similar actions.

Pernetti came under fire because of his decision to initially suspend Rice when he first learned of the coach's questionable practice habits. Rice was punished with a three-game suspension and a $50,000 fine for his actions.

No details were initially given for Rice's suspension in December, but once the videotape was released, a public outcry spawned and speculation grew rampant as to why the coach was not fired.

The video clips show Rice physically and verbally abusing players. He shoved and grabbed players, while also hurling basketballs at them.

Pernetti was hired in February 2009 at age 38 and, at the time, was the youngest athletic director in the Big East Conference. He played football at Rutgers from 1989-93 and had been the analyst on the team's radio broadcasts for eight seasons before his ascension.

However, Pernetti had never held a major position within the athletic department, but did work in various television programming roles with ABC Sports and had been a vice president at CBS Sports Network.

Pernetti's biggest move as Rutgers AD was helping the school obtain an invite to join the Big Ten Conference amid the breakup of the Big East. Rutgers will remain in the new American Athletic Conference, the offshoot of former Big East members, next year before joining the Big Ten for the 2014-15 academic year.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi has also been scrutinized for his handling of the issue.

Barchi, in Wednesday's announcement of the firing of Rice, said he reviewed the video evidence only earlier this week. He apparently did not see the clips when Pernetti first approached him in late November, and allowed an external investigator's findings and recommendations to help guide the decision to suspend Rice.

Numerous faculty members on the Rutgers campus have called for Barchi's ouster.

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