Hermann’s future uncertain at Rutgers

Don’t look now but Julie Hermann may not be the Athletic Director at Rutgers very long. Some alleged incidents from her past are coming back to haunt her in a big way.

Hermann was due to leave the University of Louisville in mid-June but issues from her term as volleyball coach at Tennessee have surfaced after being totally submerged during her 15 years at UofL, as Forbes Magazine reported Sunday:

A letter written [in 1996] by all 15 players on that team said Hermann called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled”. [They said she] forced them to do 100 sideline push ups as punishment during matches and wouldn’t allow them to shower or eat after losses. [They also said] she was physical, yanking players by their jerseys and slapping them.

Ginger Hineline
Ginger Hineline

In addition, the University of Tennessee was ordered to pay $150,000 as the result of a lawsuit filed by Ginger Hineline, former assistant volleyball coach to Hermann, who said she was fired because she became pregnant during the volleyball season. Interesting that Julie had been a bridesmaid during Hineline’s wedding a few months earlier, even catching the bridal bouquet during the wedding party. Must have been pretty close at the time, huh?

The east coast media is having a field day with this, piling on of course, especially after the uproar following the dismissal of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice and his boss for alleged physical and verbal abuse of players.  And it doesn’t help that Hermann can’t seem to remember many details from her days at Tennessee, including being involved in the wedding.

An overwhelming 86% of 2,465 respondents to a Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday indicated that she should be turned away. Gov. Chris Christie is getting involved. Her days would seem to be numbered.

So the question may come back to Tom Jurich and the University of Louisville where her boss praised her for “impeccable” behavior during the past 15 years. Plenty of time for a person to have learned from real-life experiences, adapting new approaches, maturing professionally.

She’s still on campus we presume. Should Hermann be allowed to stay on in her current position?

Hermann was just a few years out of college when she assumed the Tennessee job. She was on the wrong end of a 34-62 won-lost record, and losing evokes a lot of raw emotions for coaches and players, as well as fans. Everything gets out of kilter, crazy things happen. Fortunately, she got out of coaching.

If Hermann is rejected by Rutgers, we suspect the question of whether she will stay at UofL will be determined by how she performed behind the scenes at the University. Rutgers, for all we know, may have been doing UofL a favor. As fans, we simply don’t know, not being privy to the interaction she had with coaches, associates, subordinates and students at UofL.

Those issues may have to be addressed if she is not welcome in Piscataway and wants her old job back at Louisville.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

5 thoughts on “Hermann’s future uncertain at Rutgers”

  1. The past always catches up to you.

    If the Tennessee allegations are true, as surely one would expect, poor judgement happened upon Hermann again when she did not consider that attaching herself to a high profile job at a school which is only just finding its way to recovery from behavior similar to her own misdeeds would surely put her past back in the spot lights.

  2. IJIT!

    If she is ultimately turned away at Rutgers and asks for her job back here at Uofl, Tom Jurich will consider all aspects of the issue and make the right decision.

    In Jurich I Trust!

  3. I have interacted with Julie on several occasions in both personal and professional environments and she has been nothing but stellar in every way…in some ways outshining Tom Jurich in her delivery!

    If Rutgers turns her away, I believe that Tom will welcome her back with open arms, but I also believe she will stay or find another elevated position to land!

  4. Julie could have handled this thing better, no doubt…but her time as an administrator has been excellent. It is on these duties that she should be judged. She will be an excellent AD at Rutgers…if she can survive the scrutiny of the tough as nails Jersy/New York media.

    We have had nothing but fantastic interactions with her over the years and to use an old horseracing term…she may have stumbled out of the gate, but she was much the best when they hit the wire.

    Cardinal Couple

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