Pandora’s box has been opened when it comes to reporting coaching abuse. Not to say some of it isn’t warranted — report away, victims — but it’s starting to sound like every complaint any player has ever made about a coach is becoming big news. Consider this: verbal abuse is smoke, and physical abuse is fire. Where there’s smoke…
Rutgers hired Julie Hermann, their first female AD ever to replace Tim Pernetti, most likely to soften up the school’s image as a sports gulag. Additionally, they thought it’d break up the “boys club” chain of command that prevented any of the Mike Rice abuse allegations from surfacing (ya know, before they were exhorted out the ol’ fashioned way).
As it turns out, Hermann isn’t exactly Mother Teresa. Or Nurse Ratchet for that matter. Or even bitchy model Naomi Campbell.
The Newark Star Ledger reports that the women’s volleyball team she coached at the University of Louisville in 1997 wrote a letter complaining about a slew of asshole-y things Hermann said to them. The list of insults includes, but is not limited to: whores, alcoholics, learning disabled, and fat.
Smoke? Check. Fire? On it’s way.
She also purportedly would not let players shower if they underperformed, made them wear their sweaty workout clothes around campus, and WAS SUED FOR $150,000 FOR FIRING AN ASSISTANT WHEN SHE WAS AT TENNESSEE FOR HAVING A BABY. That’s right, she broke the garsh-darn law. (Rutgers, perpetually in the dark about people’s darksides, did not know about this.)
This is documented terrible behavior. There’s even video of Hermann at the fired mom’s wedding, warning she’d fired the bride for getting pregnant on her wedding night. “Trust me, there’s no video,” she said at her own press conference two weeks ago, when asked about it.
What this all boils down to is yet another screening failure on the part of Rutgers University. If you can’t find dirt on your applicants, you’re either not looking hard enough, or you don’t care if they’re less-than-decent-people. Mike Rice was a psycho with a history of violence towards players. Mike Rice replacement Eddie Jordan never graduated from your school (despite claiming he did). And Julie Hermann was sued for being an asshole, as well as just plain old being an asshole to players, who made a formal complaint.
The worst part (aside from the victims being abused) is that it’s all very well documented, and readily accessible to anyone with a dial-up internet connection. “The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable,” her U of L volleyball team wrote. In a letter. On a paper. That exists in the same Universe at Rutgers.
So how is Rutgers dealing with these new revelations? Some co-chair person for the AD search committee told the Star Ledger she’s still a good choice. In other news, Rutgers has hired the Sarlac Pit to function as the school’s new dining hall.