Commentary: Rutgers’ scarlet fetter

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“Accountability” is
among the most common
buzzwords in sports team
culture. Coaches preach
to their players endlessly
that everyone on the court,
field, ice and pitch has to
know what’s happening
and what needs to be done.
Teammates must look out
for teammates in order to
succeed. Accountability is
a mantra that supposedly
inspires winning and
excellence.
Rutgers University
administrators could have
afforded to take a page out
of this playbook.
In the midst of a player
abuse scandal that saw the
Scarlet Knights’ head men’s
basketball coach Mike Rice
fired and assistant coach
Jimmy Martelli resign,
Rutgers Athletic Director
Tim Pernetti was the latest
piece to fall from the
school’s administration. The
consequential reach could go
higher.
Rice was dismissed after
video surfaced on ESPN of
him hurling obscenities and
basketballs at players during
team practices. At first
only handed a three-game
suspension and a $75,000
fine, Rice lost his job on
April 3 after his controversial
actions reached a boiling
point in the public. Martelli
resigned the same day Rice
was fired.
Pernetti announced
his resignation as athletic
director on April 5, writing in
a letter to the university that
he wished he had overridden
Rutgers’ officials who chose
to seek “university lawyers,