By Matt Sugam
NEW BRUNSWICK – Tim Pernetti resigned as Rutgers’ Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Pernetti chose to resign after the backlash of a video showing men’s basketball coach Mike Rice hurling basketballs at players’ heads and using gay slurs.
Pernetti was shown the videos of Rice in November by the attorneys of a former assistant coach, Eric Murdock, whose contract was not renewed and wanted a $950,000 employment settlement.
Pernetti decided to suspend Rice for three games and dock him $50,000.
A Rutgers graduate, Pernetti was hired on April 1, 2009 and signed a five-year deal to be the school’s athletic director.
On Tuesday, ESPN had been given the video by Murdock’s attorneys, and aired the film on Outside the Lines, prompting an outcry from the public and media.
Governor Chris Christie issues a statement on Pernetti’s resignation:
The decision today by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti to resign is appropriate and necessary given the events of the past six months. I commend President Barchi for his decisive leadership in coming to an agreement with Mr. Pernetti to have the Athletic Department of Rutgers University come under new leadership. This entire incident was regrettable and while it has damaged the reputation of our state University, we need to move forward now on a number of fronts which provide great opportunities for Rutgers’ future.
Andrew Vazzano contributed to this report