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No Help From The Governor

If you were expecting a firestorm from Governor Christie on his Ask The Governor radio show here last night when the latest fiasco at Rutgers University was brought up you were certainly disappointed. 

Governor Christie in-studio for Ask The Governor
Governor Christie in-studio for Ask The Governor (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

And don’t hold your breath if you’re expecting the man who is all things New Jersey to get involved because it appears he is sitting this one out on the sidelines.  As Rutgers has been relegated to punch lines, laugh tracks and a national disgrace the one person who could right the ship is not even going to get behind the steering wheel.

 

 

Governor Christie continues to say he has “absolute confidence” in university president Robert Barchi and insisted he will not micromanage the school and its hirings…the latest of which looks like a bad decision.  It’s a very different stance than the one he took last month when he made it clear that men’s basketball coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti had to go over the first of what’s become a two-part scandal that has rocked the school and its athletic department.

As reports circulated last weekend that incoming AD Julie Hermann had some baggage that previously had not been brought to light many were waiting to hear what Christie had to say.

He first had to deal with hosting President Obama who made his second trip to the storm-ravaged Jersey Shore on Tuesday and after the President left town Christie made his monthly appearance on Townsquare Media’s “Ask the Governor” program.   His take was that Rutgers hired Hermann and they will have to deal with the fall out…it’s not his call. Those who were expecting more clearly were left disappointed.

Julie Hermann talks to the media after being introduced as Rutgers University athletic director as Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi listens
Julie Hermann talks to the media after being introduced as Rutgers University athletic director as Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi listens (Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

With little knowledge I offer three conclusions.  First Barchi clearly knows nothing about big-time athletics and really doesn’t care too.  He was brought to Rutgers to close this summer’s merger with the University of Medicine & Dentistry and don’t be surprised if he retires once that is done.  Second I do know that nearly everyone involved in the selection process at Rutgers felt strongly that Wisconsin associate athletic director Sean Frazier was going to get the job and was the stronger of the two final candidates.

Finally I believe (as do others) that while Hermann is clearly qualified the main reason she got the job is because of her gender.  Influential women leaders at Rutgers pushed her hiring and in light of what’s happened on that campus recently Hermann appeared to be a breath of fresh air.  Unfortunately the smog has returned and it’s thicker than ever.

 

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