Rutgers to Review Practice Tapes [VIDEO]
Rutgers officials are reviewing practice videos of all sports to see if any coach engaged in behavior like the type that cost men's basketball coach Mike Rice his job, and the university is planning to hire a consultant to do an independent review of how the school handled Rice's situation.
University President Robert Barchi, speaking Monday during a town hall meeting on the school's Newark campus, said that he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately.
He also reiterated that he wished he had viewed the video where Rice shoved players and called them gay slurs when it first surfaced in November, saying he would have fired Rice then.
Rice was fired last week only after the video became public. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, an assistant basketball coach and the university's top lawyer also resigned last week, while some Rutgers faculty members and others called for Barchi to step down, too.
Also Monday, Rutgers announced that it is commissioning an independent review of Rice's conduct the way the university handled the situation.
Rutgers said its Board of Governors will meet Thursday to discuss hiring the independent adviser to review the case.
Also Monday, board chairman Ralph Izzo said that one board member — Hershhorn — had seen the video in December. Izzo said that it was not shown to other members and while the topic of the coach's conduct was discussed at a committee meeting in December, it was not discussed at the whole-board meeting that month. Neither the university nor Hershorn's Philadelphia business, responded to requests to interview him.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney called on Hershorn to resign. "Any trustee or member of the Board of Governors who witnessed the tape at any point before it was publicly aired, and took no action, should be removed or resign immediately," he said in a statement.
The scandal has prompted the FBI to investigate whether a former Rutgers basketball employee asked for money from Rutgers in exchange for not taking the videos public, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
As the investigations mount, Christie said he did not believe that state lawmakers should have an inquiry of their own, saying Rutgers is investigating and that holding hearings would "continue reputational damage" to the school.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who has called for hearings said "the taxpayers, students, faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and other constituents" deserve to know just what happened.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)