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.
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.