Christie Not In Favor Of Rehiring Tim Pernetti As Rutgers Athletic Director
Governor Chris Chris told an advocate for rehiring Tim Pernetti as Rutgers Athletic Director that "the answer is no."
Following the release of video of head basketball coach Mike Rice verbally abusing players during practice Pernetti resigned. In his resignation letter Pernetti said he wanted to fire Rice when the allegations first went public last November but Rutgers wanted him to go through legal channels to deal with the issue which led to a suspension and hefty fine.
Andy Sisti, a Rutgers graduate who believes Pernetti has been made a scapegoat over the video and has spearheaded a social media effort to return Pernetti to his position. He asked Christie on Townsquare Media New Jersey's Ask The Governor program on Monday if he would consider re-hiring Pernetti should an independent counsel report clear him of responsibility.
The Governor told Sisti that Rice was under the "direct supervision of Tim Pernetti" for three years and questioned Pernetti allowing Rice's behavior and conduct to go on for that long. He said that the Rutgers search committee "can do what they want they want to do" but he will not recommend Pernetti's reinstatement.
Pernetti's "Flawed Decison"
Christie criticized Pernetti's "flawed decison" to keep Rice and pointed out that they worked in the same building. "Whatever he did to try and stop it, if he did anything, was completely ineffective." He repeated his comment made at the time of Pernetti's resignation that it was "necessary and appropriate."
The Governor says he and Rutgers President Dr. Robert Barchi have not discussed the search for an Athletic Director and he will leave he has confidence in Barch's leadership to select the right person for the position.
Christie's position did not go over well on the I Support Tim Pernetti Facebook page. George Boylan posted, "In last nights Ask The Governor on 101.5, Chris Christie made it clear that he wants this issue to "go away." We need to make it clear to him that it will not go away until Tim Pernetti is reinstated. Even if you have called before, take couple of minutes today to call the governors office at 609-292-6000 and let him know, we're not going away.
Disconnected Cell Phone
Earlier in the program, Christie joked that he spent 16 hours on the phone dealing with the Mike Rice video during his vacation in Jamaica. "AT+T shut off my phone because they assumed someone had stolen it and someone was using it from a foreign country."