Tag Archives: rutgers university

Rutgers AD Hermann acknowledges she is lesbian

New Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann states in her online biography that she is a lesbian.

Hermann took the job in May after 15 years as an associate athletic director at Louisville and spent part of this past week in Chicago at Big Ten media days, with the Scarlet Knights set to join the conference next year.

She answered questions about her biography, in which the last line reads that “Hermann and her partner Dr. Leslie Danehy are the proud parents of a seven-year-old son, Aidan.”

Hermann takes the helm of the Rutgers department in the wake of a scandal.

Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was fired after video surfaced showing him verbally and physically abusing his players during his three-year tenure, including anti-gay slurs. The fallout included the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti.

A guide to the Rutgers scandal

Rutgers University announced on April 8 that it will commission an independent investigation of the men’s basketball program and the university’s handling of a complaint that the coach mistreated players. An airing of video showing coach Mike Rice kicking and shoving players and making gay slurs during practices led last week to the coach’s firing and the resignations of the athletics director, the university’s top in-house lawyer and an assistant coach.

An at-a-glance look at the latest developments:


President Robert Barchi announces he will meet Thursday with the board of governors to discuss naming an independent adviser to investigate the basketball scandal, including the university’s decision to discipline Rice, rather than fire him, when first shown video evidence in November. The video was provided by a former basketball program employee who is accusing Rutgers in a federal lawsuit of retaliating against him for complaining about Rice’s conduct.


Rutgers announces it will review practice videos from all sports to see if any other coach engaged in abusive behavior.


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, back from vacation, discusses the scandal publicly for the first time – using his strongest language yet to describe the coach’s conduct. He said he was speaking as governor and as the father of a student who plays Division I baseball at Princeton.

“What parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son after this video?” he said. “You’re talking about kids being miserably treated by the guy who determined whether they keep their scholarship or not.”


Christie says Barchi made a mistake not asking to view the video himself in November but leaders need to delegate and the mistake was not a firing offense.

He says anyone who saw the video in November should have concluded Rice needed to be fired.

He also reveals he called athletics director Tim Pernetti on April 2, when ESPN first aired the video, and told him he needed to get rid of Rice. Rice was fired the next day.


Former Rutgers dean Carl Kirschner is named interim athletics director. Kirschner, now a special counsel for academic affairs, also ran the program for four months in 2009 after then-athletics director Robert Mulcahy was fired. The school also names the chairs of a search committee to choose a permanent replacement.


Newly released documents show Pernetti is getting $1.2 million in salary, a $12,000-a-year car allowance through next year and health insurance and pension payments through October 2015. He also gets to keep his university-issued laptop computer and iPad.

Rice is getting $1 million, or 75 percent of the salary remaining on his contract, plus a $100,000 bonus for completing the last season.


The board of governors reports its athletics committee chairman, Mark P. Hershhorn, watched the video in early December, the month the university announced Rice would be suspended without pay for three games and fined $50,000 for inappropriate conduct. The board statement does not say what conclusion Hershhorn reached from watching the tape.

But Hershhorn, responding to suggestions he step down, issues a statement saying he had told the athletics director that if the video could be authenticated, Rice should be fired immediately. He says “contrary to my recommendation,” the university chose to discipline Rice instead of letting him go.

The university administration declines to comment on his account of events.

Fired Rutgers coach says he was wrong

Fired Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice says he was wrong to treat his players the way he did.

Speaking Wednesday outside his home in Little Silver, Rice says there’s no excuse for his behavior and he is sorry.

Rice says he let down his players, Rutgers and its fans and was an embarrassment to his family.

Rice was fired on April 3, a day after excerpts of videos were released publicly showing him yelling anti-gay slurs at players, throwing basketballs at them, and shoving and kicking them.

Rice says he had been working on changing after being confronted about his actions last year. He was suspended for three games in December.

Hate crime charged in suicide of NJ student

A former Rutgers University freshman was indicted April 20 on a hate-crime charge after allegedly using a webcam to spy on a same-sex encounter involving his roommate, who committed suicide shortly afterward in a case that started a national conversation on bullying.

A 15-count indictment was handed up by a Middlesex County grand jury against Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, who had already faced invasion of privacy charges along with another student, Molly Wei.

The indictment charges Ravi with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering, and other charges stemming from the suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi (pictured) in September. The indictment said charges against Wei would not be presented to the grand jury “at this time.”

Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River shortly after authorities say Ravi and Wei used a webcam to peek at his liaison. Lawyers for Ravi say the webcam stream was viewed on only a single computer and did not show the men having sex.

The indictment says Ravi targeted Clementi and invaded his privacy knowing that Clementi would be intimidated because of his sexual orientation.

According to the indictment, Ravi deleted a Twitter post letting others know how they could view a second encounter involving Clementi and replaced it with a false tweet; deleted text messages sent and received by witnesses; and gave false information to police – all actions intended to mislead investigators.

If convicted of the most serious bias charge, Ravi could face five to 10 years in prison.

Lawyers for Ravi and Wei didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

The death of Clementi, a promising violinist in his first weeks at college, came amid a string of high-profile suicides of young people who were gay or perceived to be gay.

Partly because of his high-profile death and the other circumstances surrounding his suicide, Clementi became a face of the issue.

President Barack Obama and celebrities including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and sex columnist Dan Savage have talked publicly about his death and said that young gays and lesbians need to know that life gets better.

Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, said in a statement released April 20 that they were eager for the case to move forward in order to “reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society.”

“The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate,” they said. “If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law.”


NJ school holds vigil for student who killed self

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University held a silent vigil Sunday night to remember a student who committed suicide after his sexual encounter with a man in his dormitory room was secretly streamed online.

The tribute to 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi drew a few hundred people, many holding candles, to the school’s campus in New Brunswick.

While some area religious officials briefly addressed the crowd during the hour-long vigil, few words were spoken by the participants. Most in attendance took the time to reflect on what had happened to Clementi, sharing hugs and holding hands with others in a show if unity.

Among those attending was Rutgers student Julie Burg, who said she wanted to spread the message that help is available for students in crisis.

“There are many groups anywhere you go to that could help support you,” Burg told WCBS-TV in New York.

Burg was joined at the vigil by her mother, Annmarie Burg, who was saddened by the events leading to Clementi’s death.

“It had to take such an unfortunate incident like this to create, probably, an even larger awareness,” the mother said.

Prosecutors say Clementi’s roommate and another student used a webcam to broadcast on the Internet live images of Clementi having the intimate encounter.

Clementi, a promising violinist, jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River three days later. His body was identified Thursday.

Rutgers President Richard McCormick said the vigil was an opportunity for students and staff to come together and “reaffirm our commitment to the values of civility, dignity, compassion and respect.”

The vigil was the latest in a series of remembrances for Clementi at the university that included the establishment of a Facebook group, In Honor of Tyler Clementi.

On Friday, students wore black and were encouraged to leave flowers or mementoes at a makeshift memorial for Clementi. The Rutgers Glee Club marched to the memorial and performed a rendition of “Rutgers Prayer,” which is traditionally sung when an important member of the Rutgers community dies or a tragedy happens at the university.

On Saturday, the school had a moment of silence for Clementi before the start of its homecoming football game against Tulane.

Clementi’s death was one of a string of suicides last month involving teens believed to have been victims of anti-gay bullying. On Friday, more than 500 people attended a memorial service for Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old central California boy who hanged himself after enduring taunts from classmates about being gay.

Secret sex video linked to US student’s suicide

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (AP) — The death of a first-year university stirred outrage and remorse on campus from classmates who wished they could have stopped the teen from jumping off a bridge last week after a recording of him having a sexual encounter with a man was broadcast online.

“Had he been in bed with a woman, this would not have happened,” said Rutgers University student Lauren Felton, 21. “He wouldn’t have been outed via an online broadcast and his privacy would have been respected and he might still have his life.”

Gay rights groups say Tyler Clementi’s suicide makes him a national example of a problem they are increasingly working to combat: young people who kill themselves after being tormented over their sexuality.

A lawyer for Clementi’s family confirmed Wednesday that he had jumped off the George Washington Bridge last week. Police recovered a man’s body Wednesday afternoon in the Hudson River just north of the bridge, which connects New York and New Jersey, and authorities were trying to determine if it was Clementi’s.

The lawyer has not responded to requests for comment on whether Clementi was open about his sexual orientation.

Clementi’s roommate, Dhraun Ravi, and fellow Rutgers student Molly Wei, both 18, have been charged with invading Clementi’s privacy. Middlesex County prosecutors say the pair used a webcam to surreptitiously transmit a live image of Clementi having sex on Sept. 19 and that Ravi tried to webcast a second encounter on Sept. 21, the day before Clementi’s suicide.

A lawyer for Ravi did not immediately return a message seeking comment. It was unclear whether Wei had retained a lawyer.

Collecting or viewing sexual images without consent is a fourth-degree crime. Transmitting them is a third-degree crime with a maximum prison term of five years.

ABC News and The Star-Ledger of Newark reported that Clementi left on his Facebook page on Sept. 22 a note that read: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” On Wednesday, his Facebook page was accessible only to friends.

Even if the young violinist was not well known at his new school, his death stirred outrage.

“The notion that video of Tyler doing what he was doing can be considered a spectacle is just heinous,” said Jordan Gochman, 19, who didn’t know Clementi. “It’s intolerant, it’s upsetting, it makes it seem that being gay is something that is wrong and can be considered laughable.”

Other students who did know Clement were upset that they didn’t do more to help him. “I wish I could have been more of an ally,” said Georges Richa.

About 100 people gathered Wednesday night for a vigil on campus. They lay on the ground and chanted slogans like, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going home.”

Several gay rights groups linked Clementi’s death to the troubling phenomenon of young people committing suicide after being harassed over their sexuality.

On Tuesday, a 13-year-old California boy died nine days after classmates found him hanging from a tree. Authorities say other teens had taunted the boy, Seth Walsh of Tehachapi, for being gay.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of New Jersey-based Garden State Equality, said in a statement that his group considers Clementi’s death a hate crime.

“We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind,” Goldstein said. “And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others’ lives as a sport.”

Rutgers University President Richard McCormick wrote in a letter to the campus, “If the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university’s standards of decency and humanity.” Coincidentally, the university on Wednesday was launching a new two-year Project Civility, designed to get students thinking about how they treat others.