PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Tim Pernetti is out as Rutgers athletic director three days after releasing video of basketball coach Mike Rice’s extreme practice misconduct, multiple sources reported. Pernetti came under fire nationally for his decision to suspend Rice instead of fire him in December for his behavior in team practices.
The decision became official Friday morning, however the terms of his departure have yet to be decided with both resignation and firing on the table.
ScarletReport.com confirmed Pernetti's departure.
Pernetti did not release video evidence of Rice’s behavior until after a copy was given to ESPN by disgruntled former assistant Eric Murdock and his legal team. Admitting to being “wrong” in his decision to not immediately fire Rice, Pernetti did so Wednesday morning.
The decision to remove Pernetti from his position came Thursday just three days after the video aired to the nation on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. Prior to Pernetti’s dismissal, Rutgers president Robert Barchi issued multiple statements claiming joint decisions with the athletic director during the process of Rice’s downfall.
“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior,” Barchi said in a statement. “I have now reached the conclusion that coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University. Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice’s employment at Rutgers.”
Though overshadowed by his handling of the Rice situation, Pernetti is responsible for major financial gains at Rutgers. The Rutgers graduate and former football player was the harbinger for a historic move to the Big Ten and lucrative stadium-naming rights deal.
Pernetti built his reputation with a focus on supporting all Rutgers sports programs equally and reducing the athletic department’s financial dependence on the university.