(NEW BRUNSWICK) – “Let me begin by saying, this was a failure of process.”
That is the response by anyone who watched Rutgers President Robert Barchi utter these words Friday afternoon.
The volcanic events at Rutgers University erupted on Tuesday when a bombshell report by ESPN showed the abusive nature of now former basketball coach Tim Rice.
Rice was fired on Wednesday morning. By Friday morning, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti was gone.
The man who led Rutgers to the Big Ten last fall stepping down after he did not step up for student-athletes who were physically and verbally abused, “I appreciate the positive things that Tim has done for the university, but I also recognize the gravity of recent developments in regards to men’s basketball program,” said Barchi in a standing a standing room only news-conference.
Barchi admitted that he found out last November that the video contained in his words, “verbal abuse with offensive language.”
Barchi didn’t stop there. He added that, “It showed physical elements with the physical contact and ball throwing and things of that nature and it recorded some episodes of homopho… of slurs.”
Yet Barchi did nothing.
He spoke at great length as to how he never never saw the video but knew of the independent investigation. PIX 11 News pressed Barchi with regards to the independent investigator as well as advice from his legal team at Rutgers;
DIAZ: “When the report was made available to you, was the independent investigator in the room and at anytime did you meet with the independent investigator?”
DIAZ: “And lastly you also said that it was advice of counsel throughout this entire process that you followed, at any point did counsel advise you, as a stop-gap measure, do not look at this video?”
BARCHI: (Pauses and thinks for a moment.) “Not specifically, no.”
DIAZ: “So what did they say?”
BARCHI: “I think there was some comments about we can’t let the video out for wider consumption in the management team because it was the subject of a legal action.”
The takeaway? Barchi admits that his counselors were concerned of the video and it’s legal ramifications yet he would never examine it.
After the news conference student-athletes gathered yards away from where Pernetti’s departure was announced.
In a scene similar to a collegiate “Lord of the Flies” the students were chanting support for Pernetti and demanding he be hired back.
When reminded of why he stepped and his failure to protect student athletes from being abused Adam Bergo from the track and field team said that they weren’t there to comment on what led to his exit.