Embattled Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has resigned, as reported by Tara Sullivan of The Record and Brett McMurphy of ESPN.
Pernetti has come under fire for his handling of former men's basketball coach Mike Rice who was videotaped physically and verbally abusing players.
The video, first revealed to the public by ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Wednesday, was behind the initial decision to suspend Rice for three games and fine him $50,000 last season for what the school called inappropriate behavior toward his players. Video clips and raw footage show Rice throwing basketballs at his players, shoving and kicking them, and taunting them with profane language including a homophobic slur.
ESPN reportedly opted to run the video Tuesday afternoon after Pernetti preemptively showed it to media members covering the school in his office. Pernetti originally told the media that Rice was being retained for next season. But Rice was then fired Wednesday after public reaction to the video.
Rice, who was hired in 2010, was 44-51 overall and 17-39 in Big East play. His contract ran through the 2013-14 season. His practices were monitored by someone outside the basketball program when he returned at midseason.
Former director of player development Eric Murdock revealed the tape to Rutgers athletic officials prior to the school not renewing his contract after the 2011-12 season. Murdock, according to New York Post sources, vowed to release the video if the university did not compensate him. He currently is involved in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the university. Murdock reportedly sought $950,000 from Rutgers as part of his settlement.