Supporters Rally For Pernetti On Social Media
Supporters of embattled Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti are using social media and phone calls to rally last minute support.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. today "to discuss intercollegiate athletics."
Numerous reports say the University will let Pernetti go for his handling of the Mike Rice situation but alumni and supporters of the Rutgers athletic program are hoping to save his job.
A Facebook page called I Support Tim Pernetti was created late Thursday and is being used as a forum to encourge people to call the offices of Governor Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and the University to tell them not to fire Pernetti.
"Put The Lynch Mob On Hold"
Chris Ashton, who says he is a 2004 Rutgers graduate and a season ticket holder for both basketball & football tells Townsquare Media the idea is to "put the lynch mob on hold" and to step back before making any further decisions. Ashton says the school would be acting prematurely and he would consider no longer supporting the program should Pernetti be let go.
Tal Sharon, who identified herself as an Entrepreneur in Residence in 2010 posted, "Allowing the University to cave and change an outcome to (public) pressure is the opposite of science and academia. It should be forever a black and embarrassment to this University. I can no longer support an institution of cowardice. Sadly, goodbye Rutgers."
"Thank you Tim for making Rutgers a better place overall. I hope you have a successful future and receive the support you deserve," posted Oliver Minguillon.
Naming Rights In Danger?
He further tweeted that it was Pernetti who made the naming rights deal possible "just hope people realize that @Tim_Pernetti has done some really good things for Rutgers," Mendiburu tweeted.
In a conversation with Townsquare Media, Mendiburu had no further comment on the naming rights. "I don't know what our options are." he said, saying he and Pernetti have become friends over the past few years. He said this week has been "taxing" on Pernetti and his family.
Mendiburu says he doesn't understand what Pernetti did wrong. "He did what he was supposed to do" and alerted his superiors to the situation with Rice.
High Point Solutions signed a 10-year contract in 2011 for naming rights. “Forging relationships within the community is a significant part of what defines High Point Solutions," said Mendiburu in a statement on the Rutgers website. “We are truly honored to be associated with the fine traditions of Rutgers University and consider it a privilege to support New Jersey education and athletics. We look forward to this long term partnership.”