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Ray Rice offers support for Rutgers athletic director

Ray Rice AP

Football has nothing to do with the scandal at Rutgers that’s threatening to cost athletic director Tim Pernetti his job, but a former Scarlet Knights running back is trying to rally support for Pernetti.

Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke to Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger and sang the praises of Pernetti, who is in the crosshairs of public anger for waiting until this week to fire basketball coach Mike Rice (no relation to Ray) after evidence of the basketball coach’s physical and verbal abuse came to light back in December. Ray Rice said that Pernetti has urged him to continue his studies to get a degree, something he pointed to as the larger body of work that Pernetti’s done for the school.

“Could (Pernetti) have done more? I think so,” Ray Rice said. “But this is one decision. This is a man who has done so much for Rutgers. The right guy is gone! Now we need to start the healing process.”

Rice isn’t the only football alum trying to sway the school toward keeping Pernetti in his job. Shaun O’Hara and Eric LeGrand also threw their support behind the AD, although it may not wind up making much of a difference with politicians, school officials and others in the general public stepping up calls for his ouster in the wake of Mike Rice being allowed to keep his job well past the point when his behavior was brought to Pernetti’s attention.

UPDATE 9:59 a.m. ET: It didn’t work. Multiple reports indicate Pernetti has been fired.

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27 Responses to “Ray Rice offers support for Rutgers athletic director”
  1. scoops1 says: Apr 5, 2013 9:46 AM

    if Pernetti doesn’t get RU in the Big 10, he would be gone by now

  2. cobrala2 says: Apr 5, 2013 9:47 AM

    I don’t see these athletes infatuation with defending Coach Rice… it is beyond obvious the video did not capture a single, isolated incident.

    I guess some athletes grew up with so much crap they expect to be treated like crap.

    Have some dignity.

  3. greglloydrules says: Apr 5, 2013 9:50 AM

    He should be fired. He saw the tape in December and did nothing.

  4. thesportsguy52 says: Apr 5, 2013 9:54 AM

    The ironic thing about this is that Ray Rice has a HUGE anti-bullying campaign effort. I’m from Baltimore, and I know that it is by far his biggest concern and goal in the community. He works really hard at it, helps gets laws passed and such..

    But I get it. It’s his school. It’s where he’s from. This can just become very conflicting with his message he sends out through his community work. It’s hard for me to blame Rice for anything, being a Ravens fan. But when I stand back and have some perspective, this is the wrong move in the bigger picture.

  5. kingbeason52 says: Apr 5, 2013 9:54 AM

    Wow this is getting out of hand..let the process take care of its self..there is no reason to interview everyone..

  6. Rutgersknight says: Apr 5, 2013 10:22 AM

    Admittedly I’m a Rutgers grad and love Tim Pernetti. But having said that, I wish those who feel compelled to comment would at least be honest about it. When greglloydrules says “he saw the tape …and did nothing” it’s hard to tell if that is willful dishonestly, choosing to be ignorant, or lying.

    The facts: Erick Murdock told Pernetti about abuses in July, after he was not retained as an assistant due to insubordination, in an effort to extort money from Rutgers. Pernetti then investigated and interviewed players, even attended practices. Murdock himself admits that Pernetti was there, but Rice was on his best behavior. When Murdock eventually sent the tapes, Pernetti hired an outside investigator to review the situation. And then, in consultation with RU legal counsel, and the president, instituted a rehabilitation program for Rice that included suspension, loss of wages, anger management counseling, and practice monitoring. This was all done above board and reported across the nation in December when it occurred. ESPN reported on it extensively. There was absolutely no cover up, and it’s a lie to suggest otherwise.

    The only thing that changed since December was the release of the tapes, which Murdock orchestrated because he was unsuccessful in extorting Pernetti back in November. He needed his payday and ESPN was willing to give it to him.

    Now if you want to argue that Rice should have been fired in December, then let’s have that argument. I actually agree with that. Pernetti’s crime is that he thought after the investigation and speaking with the players that Rice deserved a second chance. He’s a good man and believed in the power of redemption. Anyone who knows him or has worked with him knows he’s a man of integrity. What purpose does it serve to fire him for one bad decision other than to give ESPN another scalp?

  7. annes22 says: Apr 5, 2013 10:24 AM

    Finally Pennetti is fired this morning. Not before time, after watching those tapes. How disgraceful to let that behaviour continue and do practically nothing. Coaches cannot behave like that, I would pull my kid right out of there, if that happened.
    That tape was shocking, how can anyone let it continue??

  8. animal30 says: Apr 5, 2013 10:48 AM

    So Ray Rice is against Bullying… but then when his old AD lets the basketball coach almost get away with it, he’s suddenly ok with it?

    I like Ray Rice, but he’d be better off keeping his mouth shut if he wants his anti-bullying message to mean anything.

  9. mogogo1 says: Apr 5, 2013 10:52 AM

    Pernetti might be a great guy who was just too soft on the coach in this case, so I’m not going to trash the guy. But the thing about Ray Rice’s comments that strikes me as kind of funny is that the one specific thing mentioned about Pernetti is his encouraging Ray to get his degree. Really, in the ideal world, would anything less be expected from a university employee?

  10. nejerseygirl says: Apr 5, 2013 10:57 AM

    If I were Pernetti, after having seen what unfolded at Penn State over the last year+, I would have fired Rice IMMEDIATELY. I can understand wanting to give the guy a second chance, but in the media and the court of public opinion, this was obviously going to blow up and hurt him. Sometimes, you just have to look out for #1.

    With video evidence and the internet/social media, he had to have known that this would eventually be seen by .. well .. pretty much everyone. And obviously people are justifiably outraged by what went on.

  11. Rutgersknight says: Apr 5, 2013 11:02 AM

    annes22-

    As I said above, it you think Pernetti did nothing, you are either lying or ignorant of the facts. But you got your scalp, so that’s all that matters.

    ESPN still employs Bobby Knight, and has made him keep silent on this. Enough said.

  12. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 5, 2013 11:03 AM

    ESPN, it looked to me, had video of three, maybe four incidents that it spliced together and ran repeatedly to make it look like Rice was out of control for several hours.
    I don’t condone this style of coaching, although I noticed that ESPN never asked Bobby Knight how he feels, but I truly believe through some trickeration, ESPN slanted the video to suit its agenda.
    It should be noted that Rice’s players never complained. Even his former players at Robert Morris University had zero complaints.
    Just sayin.’

  13. pftisterrible says: Apr 5, 2013 11:05 AM

    Give me a break rutgersknight. If you don’t think getting in to the Big 10 and the large payday that comes with it affected judgement in this matter, you are fooling yourself.

  14. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 5, 2013 11:19 AM

    I don’t even know which raven story and/or player to make fun of anymore.

  15. njraiderfan19 says: Apr 5, 2013 11:22 AM

    Yell at a ‘kid’? (These aren’t 9-year olds, they’re adults). Fine. Grab one by a jersey to move him into a position if he’s just not getting it? No big deal- worse things happen every game. Throw a basketball at the back of a player’s head when the player can’t see it coming? Pretty damn stupid. This whole nonsense from the gay lobby about the ‘fairy’ comment is just ludicrous. Fire the man for physically abusing players, perhaps. The punishment Pernetti handed out was pretty severe and it wasn’t just glossed over. The way Rice’s former assistant tried to blackmail the school over that video (and he’s the one who sent it to ESPN) is the reason Pernetti got fired; that and the way all college athletic departments are scared to death over anything out of the ordinary after the Penn State disaster.

    I don’t feel bad for Coach Rice because some of the stuff he did was pretty stupid. But I’d be willing to bet there’s a whole lot of that activity going on in big time college sports across the country. And Pernetti got railroaded.

  16. classyjacklambert says: Apr 5, 2013 11:32 AM

    Pretty much what you’d expect from ravens scum. What a joke of a franchise.

  17. aaronitout says: Apr 5, 2013 11:40 AM

    Rutgersknight says:Apr 5, 2013 10:22 AM

    Admittedly I’m a Rutgers grad and love Tim Pernetti. But having said that, I wish those who feel compelled to comment would at least be honest about it. When greglloydrules says “he saw the tape …and did nothing” it’s hard to tell if that is willful dishonestly, choosing to be ignorant, or lying.

    The facts: Erick Murdock told Pernetti about abuses in July, after he was not retained as an assistant due to insubordination, in an effort to extort money from Rutgers. Pernetti then investigated and interviewed players, even attended practices. Murdock himself admits that Pernetti was there, but Rice was on his best behavior. When Murdock eventually sent the tapes, Pernetti hired an outside investigator to review the situation. And then, in consultation with RU legal counsel, and the president, instituted a rehabilitation program for Rice that included suspension, loss of wages, anger management counseling, and practice monitoring. This was all done above board and reported across the nation in December when it occurred. ESPN reported on it extensively. There was absolutely no cover up, and it’s a lie to suggest otherwise.

    The only thing that changed since December was the release of the tapes, which Murdock orchestrated because he was unsuccessful in extorting Pernetti back in November. He needed his payday and ESPN was willing to give it to him.

    Now if you want to argue that Rice should have been fired in December, then let’s have that argument. I actually agree with that. Pernetti’s crime is that he thought after the investigation and speaking with the players that Rice deserved a second chance. He’s a good man and believed in the power of redemption. Anyone who knows him or has worked with him knows he’s a man of integrity. What purpose does it serve to fire him for one bad decision other than to give ESPN another scalp?

    ———————————————————-

    Sorry buddy but your argument doesn’t hold water. I’ll let you know why.

    Many coaches yell and scream at players, that is generally accepted as ok in the realm of sports. What is NOT ok is using sexually deragotive terms towards players or physically abusing players. If at any point it came out in the investigation you reference that Rice committed acts including deragotory sexual comments or physical abuse toward players then he should have been fired on the spot. If those things didn’t come out in the investigation then the it was just a token investigation.

  18. granadafan says: Apr 5, 2013 11:55 AM

    It’s amazing how school officials will rarely do the right thing when initially presented the opportunity to make the right decision, and will only act when the media/ public holds them accountable. We saw this with Penn State where Paterno and the higher ups covered up a child predator just so the tens of millions would keep coming into the program. Penn St only did the right thing after the media exposed their cover up, and the public outcry became too great for them to bully/ threaten local journalists.

    Pernetti knew about Rice’s actions long ago but allowed him to continue to assault players.

    This is why we have a freedom of the press.

  19. iamapatsfan says: Apr 5, 2013 12:04 PM

    greglloydrules says:
    Apr 5, 2013 9:50 AM
    He should be fired. He saw the tape in December and did nothing

    ———-

    If you read more of the story other than “December and Now” you would know that he suspended him, fined him and ordered him to go to Anger Management. Pernetti felt he could be rehabilitated. Whether that was true or not no longer matter, because in the court of public opinion, politicians always go with the flow, even if that means that a guy who was trying to help someone else fix their problems instead just fires him and leaves him hanging.

    Did the coach screw up? Hell yes, but if you had a friend who started becoming an alcoholic, do you ditch him at the first chance or do you try to help him? I’m guessing most people choose option B. Maybe the better idea would be to relieve him of duties for a certain amount of time in order to get him to realize he was screwing up… oh, wait, that’s exactly what he did…

    Here’s a direct quote from Pernetti:

    “Mike will not be permitted to do anything. He’ll be removed from the program. He won’t be able to be active in his role as head basketball coach inside or outside the university,” athletic director Tim Pernetti said. “The suspension for this period of time and these games is a complete removal from the program.”

    That’s what happened in December. Suspended without pay, fined 50 grand more. He tried to see if he could be made to understand that was wrong. Have we heard anything about his abuse since then? I don’t think so. Maybe he was on the road to redemption, but public court screwed him over.

  20. nejerseygirl says: Apr 5, 2013 12:33 PM

    bobzilla1001 says:
    Apr 5, 2013 11:03 AM
    It should be noted that Rice’s players never complained. Even his former players at Robert Morris University had zero complaints.
    Just sayin.’
    ______________

    To continue with the Penn State “comparisons”:
    None of the boys who were sexually assaulted came forward and complained, either.

    Just sayin’.

  21. bunjy96 says: Apr 5, 2013 12:33 PM

    The more facts that come out seems to indicate Rutgers did respond as soon as it was known. Maybe not the way the public might have wanted, but they did their due diligence.

    Pernetti got screwed because of 2 things: 1) Penn State disaster and 2) too many people publicly reacted without all the facts.

    Have no sympathy for Coach Rice’s physical behavior.
    His language was probably milder than what the players use.

  22. petedutcher says: Apr 5, 2013 12:57 PM

    Pernetti is being railroaded in this.

    Aside from the fact that it was such a minor thing, which it was. And aside from the fact that it was not politically correct…Pernetti DID take steps. He handled it that way it should have been handled.

    This is all being blown out of proportion by the media, who loves a controversy.

  23. petedutcher says: Apr 5, 2013 12:59 PM

    nejerseygirl says: Apr 5, 2013 12:33 PM

    To continue with the Penn State “comparisons”:
    None of the boys who were sexually assaulted came forward and complained, either.

    Just sayin’.

    .

    That’s because it was sexual in nature, and men are much more reluctant to be public about such things.

  24. Rutgersknight says: Apr 5, 2013 1:31 PM

    So now it seems that Pernetti recommended Rice be fired but was overruled by the president and Board of Governors and legal counsel. Yet he gets fired.

    Great job ESPN, and f.u. Barchi.

  25. reed20fence says: Apr 5, 2013 2:42 PM

    hey ClasslessJackLambert,

    You’re a disgrace to Jack Lambert. Calling a man who’s spent considerable money and personally vested his compassion with families whose children have been lost because of this vile behavior of bullying.

    All Ray did was defend a man who made a questionable judgement call. A man that had a positive relationship with Ray personally.

    But you come on here with your macho internet anonymity and call him scum.

    Put your real name behind that filth you’re spewing if you’re true to the man Jack Lambert was.

  26. classyjacklambert says: Apr 5, 2013 9:03 PM

    I am laughing my ass off right now. You’re saying since Ray Rice spent a bunch of money on anti-bullying campaigns, it’s fine for him to defend a person that basically promoted a pattern of bullying and humiliation? That might be honorable for Baltimore, but everywhere else that’s hypocrisy.

  27. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 5, 2013 10:37 PM

    nejerseygirl:
    Horrible comparison.
    College basketball players are just as much adults as their adult counterparts in the military. I get a little tired of the bleeding hearts calling college students “kids,” while those of the same age serving in the military are “courage, young men.”
    Sandusky’s victims were younger. THEY WERE ACTUALLY CHILDREN…

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