The Rutgers emails: Inside look at turmoil over athletics-chief pick

Posted at 8:07 PM, May 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-30 20:08:37-04

New Brunswick, NJ (PIX 11)– Internal emails between members of the Rutgers Search Advisory Committee, the very group who had some responsibility for hiring newly appointed and now embattled athletic director Julie Hermann, indicate dissent within its ranks. The emails,  leaked and made public by ESPN, show a distinct effort by co-chairs Kate Sweeney and Richard Edwards to save face from negative publicity surrounding Hermann’s past.

Sent on Tuesday, the email said as follows:

“As members of the Search Advisory Team, you all had the opportunity to examine Julie’s credentials, to spend some time with her when she was on campus, and to provide us with your thoughts regarding her candidacy…”

Ron Garutti and Kenneth Schmidt, two members who replied back to the email, exemplified exactly what critics of Rutgers vetting process had said all week long, that the process was flawed and rushed through.

Garutti’s responded, “Please, let us not at this late date attempt to convince ourselves and the public that there was sufficient time to delve deeply into either candidates documents…”

While Schmidt said, “At this time, please do not try to rewrite the facts. I suspect you will find others that share my opinion.”

However, other steps were also involved in the hiring process.  Parker Executive Search, an executive search firm based out of Georgia, was contracted by Rutgers University to assist in the hunt for a new Athletic Director and in their agreement, an outline of what the firm would do, including conducting background investigations was mentioned.

PIX11 reached out to Rutgers numerous times regarding the internal emails and to clarify steps taken in their vetting process, but we never received a response.

The University, however, stood behind their appointment of Hermann earlier this week, despite her involvement in at least two law suits and allegations of abuse 16 years ago from several members of the women’s volleyball team she coached at the University of Tennessee.

New Jersey State Democrats and Rutgers alumni alike came out and pointed full blame on Rutgers President Robert Barchi for this latest embarrassment