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4/8/2013 12:15:17 PM -

I have no connection to Rutgers University other than having them take a look at a few players I’ve coached over the years, during the Schiano administration. I don’t know their athletic director, Tim Pernetti, and although we’re sort of somewhat playing contemporaries (he’s a bit older than me), I didn’t know who he was (although his name was familiar) until last week.

After talking to several people with some knowledge of the Mike Rice situation, however, I’m inclined to believe that Pernetti is being thrown under the bus to save the asses of members of the school’s administration. Again, I have no real “inside” knowledge of this. I’m simply commenting as someone who knows a bit about the inner workings of high school and collegiate athletic departments.

I think this is a blatant extortion attempt by a former coach—a former NBA player—with a rather suspect reputation in terms of how he’s perceived by the basketball community. I believe Pernetti when he says he recommended Rice be fired months ago, and I believe the administration is absolutely throwing him under the bus.

The problem here, as I see it, is the media. The were quick to jump on this story, and they were very quick to look for people to blame. Pernetti was an obvious and convenient target, despite everything he’s done for the school, including somehow negotiating a deal to get Rutgers into the Big Ten.

Nothing is ever as it seems with cases like this, and I think everyone should keep an open mind with regard to pointing the finger. First off, in an entire season of practice, the videos shown were the only cases of Rice acting like a nut job. Obviously, the evidence was pretty damning, but that’s a very small portion of the time the guy spent with his players. Second, you have a former assistant coach, whose contract wasn’t renewed, asking for nearly a million dollars from the school, then releasing this video. That’s pretty sketchy. Finally, you have the president of the university claiming he hadn’t seen any of this until the other day.

None of it adds up, and to me, it all funnels down to finding a scapegoat. Pernetti seems, to me, to be that scapegoat.

Angry Coach

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