Why Hasn’t Rutgers Fired Hermann Yet?
With all the media attention AGAIN swirling around the athletic department at Rutgers University, the institution’s inaction about the current ‘scandal’ surrounding new athletic director Julie Hermann begs the question: why do the Scarlet Knights appear to be sticking with their new hire?
No one doubts Hermann’s accomplishments under Tom Jurich at the University of Louisville. No one doubts her ferocity when it comes to athletics and decision-making. So why the inaction after her seemingly surprising negative welcome in Piscataway?
My hunch is that all this chatter is not a surprise to the Rutgers brass. If we are to believe today’s universities are doing their due diligence when making big-time hiring decisions, we must also believe that Rutgers knew about all of the current media reports.
If I’m Rutgers, the last thing I want is a so-so vetting process for my new AD after the fiasco surrounding their former men’s basketball coach and athletic director.
Tom Jurich is a man who won’t be fooled. (The Steve Kragthorpe hire did not fool him, Coach Krag’s subsequent tenure fooled him.) He knew about Hermann’s file then, he remembers now and I’m sure he played a key role in the hiring of Hermann.
I tend to believe he was no bystander when Rutgers came calling. When asked for a reference, he positively identified Hermann as the [wo]man for the job and his recommendation surely included things he knew about.
I posit that Rutgers is sticking with Hermann because these reports, although negative from a press standpoint, are all smoke but involve no real fires. The important thing for the future of Rutgers Athletics is a positive growth of the department is all sports, which is something Hermann can provide.
Hiring an abusive, hard-nosed former coach is a press nightmare right now for Rutgers, so I have to believe that they would have immediately fired Hermann if she resembled anything like their former coach and AD.
Time will tell if these allegations prove to be anything but a headache for Rutgers. The longer Hermann is retained as AD, the less the allegations matter in the big picture on Rutgers’ end.
I may be proven wrong. And that’s okay.
[Of course, I am a University of Louisville graduate and may be slightly biased by the news of the day. However, I must believe that Rutgers would have already fired Hermann if it were in their best interests. No one wants an unabated dumpster fire for too long.]
According to http://www.onthebanks.com, who has been all over (and vociferously against) the Julie Hermann hiring from the start, Rutgers was aware of the sexual discrimination lawsuit (which was overturned on appeal) and that it didn’t matter because Karen Sweeney, co-chair of the committee, really, really, really wanted a female AD and one that wouldn’t be beholden to football.
The thinking is also that the President cannot be touched until after the Rutgers/MD school merger.
“…Karen Sweeney, co-chair of the committee, really, really, really wanted a female AD…”
I think that is the key. Remember, the first headlines were almost universally about how Hermann is Rutgers’ first female AD and only the third FBS female AD ever. They used Julie Hermann’s gender to grab some positive PR and it backfired.
Typical PC – affirmative-action outcome! When you DON’T hire the BEST candidate for the job (clean background and all), you get burned in the end. Very likely the Rutgers Board had insight into Hermann’s background concerns, yet hired her anyway. I bet none of the male members dared push too hard with their issues and the higher risk for PC reasons. If they had, Karen Sweeney et al would have labeled them sexist. Hence, they caved and look at the outcome! When are the lib’s going to ever learn?!
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