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.