Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann said during a conference call on Monday that she has no plans to resign and that she never abused players while a volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee.
Hermann was accused of abuse by former players and they aired their grievances against Hermann in a letter signed by the entire volleyball team.
Hermann said she never called players "whores" and she is unsure why her turmoil with the team in the 1990s is coming up now. She is due to start her job as AD next month.
"I don't know what their motivation is 17 years later," Hermann said, answering questions from four reporters in the 10-minute conference call, via the Newark Star-Ledger. "Am I an intense coach? I'm absolutely an intense coach as many coaches are. But there is a big canyon between being super-intense and abuse. And this was not an abusive environment for these women."
Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi said in a statement that he supports Hermann.
"Looking at Julie’s entire record of accomplishment, which is stellar, we remain confident that we have selected an individual who will work in the best interests of all of our student athletes, our athletics teams and the university," part of the statement read.
More from the Star-Ledger:
Hermann was hired by Rutgers to help rebuild its sports program after basketball coach Mike Rice was fired in April after video emerged of him hitting and shouting gay slurs at players at practices. Critics, including several state lawmakers, have questioned whether Hermann is the right person to lead Rutgers' sports program considering her past. "I never considered withdrawing because I feel very qualified to lead Rutgers into the future and into the transition of the Big Ten," Hermann said. "And I do feel the support of the Rutgers community."