April 8, 2013

Rutgers commissioning review of basketball scandal

University President Robert Barchi says he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately.

Angela Delli Santi and Katie Zezima / The Associated Press

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Rutgers University President Robert Barchi announced on Friday that he accepted the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti Barchi is visiting the school's Newark campus on Monday to hold a town hall meeting that had been planned for last week but was postponed after a video surfaced showing basketball Coach Mike Rice pushing players, throwing basketballs at them and berating them with invectives, including gay slurs.

AP

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.

Asked about the FBI inquiry on Monday, Barchi said the agency wasn't called but came "on their own."

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 what happened.

Meanwhile, Rutgers is turning to former dean Carl Kirschner to run its athletic department on an interim basis, a person with knowledge of the appointment said. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Monday because the appointment had not been announced by the university.

It's the second time that Kirschner will run the program. He took over at the start of 2009 after Robert Mulcahy was fired, and held the role for four months, stepping down when Pernetti took over.

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