Friday, September 19, 2014

Rutgers AD Julie Hermann made crude Sandusky remark in staff meeting: Report

Just days after putting her foot down on Rutgers fans who called Penn State "Ped State" and other "regrettable actions," an investigation of the university's athletic director, Julie Herman, claims she reportedly once put that same foot in her mouth and made a questionable joke about the child sex scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

A NJ Advance Media investigation that included statements from more than a half-dozen people inside the Rutgers athletic department, university officials acknowledged Hermann made the Sandusky-related remark at a staff meeting last fall.

"Julie's comment was an off the cuff response to a give-and-take interaction urging the fundraising team to reach out and touch the donors,'' said Pete McDonough, senior vice president for external affairs, when pressed for a statement from Rutgers President Robert Barchi. "There probably isn't a person alive today who hasn't made an impromptu remark in a private meeting that probably shouldn't have been said. Even taken out of context, this single comment was not directed at Penn State, its students, staff or faculty.''



Hermann, through spokesman Tom Luicci, declined comment, reported NJ.com. On Thursday, Luicci texted a NJ Advance Media reporter to cancel a meeting that had been scheduled earlier in the week.

Multiple people interviewed by NJ Advance Media — who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution — said Hermann was talking about "reaching out and touching the donors" of the program and her punchline was to not do it "in a Sandusky way."

"Everyone looked at each other and said, 'Say what?'" said a Rutgers official at the meeting. According to a second Rutgers employee, Hermann told her staff they are "all ambassadors for Rutgers. We have to reach out to our donors, fans, everyone, and we need to touch them. Not in a Jerry Sandusky-type way."

A third Rutgers official called Hermann's statement "a simple remark but one that resonated with us."

"I know there were two or three of us that looked at each other, and I said, "You gotta be kidding going down that road," the employee said. "Comparing relationships with donors or with people in organizations that we want to drum up and get money from in that relationship and saying we have to get close to them and touch them? And she goes 'not like Sandusky.' "

It's the latest in a series of missteps that have marked Hermann's rocky 17 months as athletic director at Rutgers. Nevertheless, McDonough issued a statement that strongly endorses Hermann's job performance.

"The University is not going to let a spontaneous, offhand remark obscure the fact that Julie is doing a great job as Athletics Director,'' McDonough said. "Bringing change always ruffles some feathers, but the results are clear -- ticket sales are setting new records for home and away games, the R-Care program is serving our student athletes' academic, social and personal well-being, and our fundraising up.''

3 comments:

  1. THE QUESTION IS HOW GOOD ACADEMICALLY IS THIS SCHOOL THAT EMPLOYS SUCH IMMATURE AND CHILDISH STAFF. THEY SHOULD BE BOOTED FROM THE BIG 10.

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    1. Rutgers is actually really academically outstanding, ranked in the top 70 out of 200+ plus schools.
      http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/page+17
      You should probably look it up before you make a stupid remark.

      P.S. We should boot you from the Big 10.

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  2. The state school of NJ.....you expected more from her?

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