Rutgers Scarlet Knights president Robert Barchi considers he still believes in his pending athletic director hire even with allegations of abuse, including in a statement that the school looks forward to Julie Hermann running the athletic department.
Hermann has stated that Barchi spoke with the Board of Governors on her behalf, and the board has shown a great deal of support.
Barchi added in his statement that Hermann was the best of the 63 candidates interviewed for the job of succeeding Tim Pernetti. She was hired on May 15 and is scheduled to officially to start coaching the women’s basketball Scarlet Knights on June 17.
Barchi’s statement came after a newspaper reported this weekend that the 49 year-old coach quit coaching the Tennessee Volunteers in 1197 after all 15 of her players at the time, in a letter, stated she has called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”
According to Hermann she has said that, “It’s absolutely not true that I referred to them with any name calling like that”. “That’s not part of my vocabulary.
She also added, “Am I an intense coach? Absolutely as many coaches are. There’s a big canyon between being super intense and abuse. This was not an abusive environment. Was it challenging? Yes. It was incredibly challenging. Was I aware players were unhappy? I was unaware by the end of the season. We had so many challenges with this group of women.”
The newspaper also stated that Hermann was confronted by players, who piled into an office — some sitting on the floor and others sitting on a black leather couch. After hearing their complaints, Hermann decided she didn’t want to coach the Volunteers anymore.
Even though the players were not named in the report, Abbey Watkins, who played for Tennessee as Abbey Blazer from 1995-96, responded back.