Rutgers University is muddling through the process of righting its athletic department after recently firing its basketball coach and athletic director. The school also suspended its men’s lacrosse coach last month for verbal abuse of players.
The Scarlett Knights haven’t seemed to do anything right when it comes to athletics and they’re looking for new athletic director. They need to replace Tom Pernetti who was fired even though he had disciplined basketball coach Mike Rice for alleged physical and verbal abuse of players. When a video went public, the administration bowed to public pressure, showing him the door in April.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi, who knows athletic failures can doom school administrators, created a search committee to identify a replacement. The committee consists of 29 people, including students, alumni, professors and campus officials. The school has also hired an executive search committee to do the groundwork.
Seems like a whole lot of people involved in the process, probably representing all kinds of constituencies. Reminiscent of what happened at the University of Louisville in 1994 when Howard Schnellenberger left for Oklahoma. That committee settled for Ron Cooper as football coach, setting the program back a few years. People working at cross purposes, settling for a compromise candidate.
Reportedly, the leading candidates for the Rutgers job include Julie Hermann, executive senior associate athletic director at the University of Louisville; Sean Frazier, the deputy athletic director at Wisconsin; and Thomas Boeh, athletic director at Fresno State — according to a New Jersey web site.
Hermann’s credentials include her participation in one of the most dynamic athletic programs in the country, serving as the right hand person to Tom Jurich. While Hermann seems to avoid the spotlight, not making many public appearances, the women’s athletic programs at UofL have flourished under the current administration. Doesn’t hurt that the chairperson of the search committee is a powerful woman — Kate Sweeney, the senior investment management consultant at Morgan Stanley, a global financial services firm.
Among Frazier’s credentials is his experience in the Big Ten Conference, which is where Rutgers University will be headed in 2014. He was was hired by Wisconsin in 2007 and named senior associate athletic director for operations in 2009 and then promoted to deputy athletic director in April 2011.
Boeh also has Big Ten ties, as he earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Illinois. The Chicago native has spent the last seven years at Fresno State, and also previously worked for the Big Ten Network.