Lesson Learned: Abuse Male College Basketball Players, Get Fired; Abuse Women College Volleyball Players, Get Athletic Director Job

Any questions?  I mean, Men’s college basketball makes money for the university, we got to keep those players happy.  Women’s Volleyball players?  Bah, they are probably all drunk whores with learning disabilities anyway, amirite?

From a  university that really needs to examine their hiring procedures, Rutgers, comes this story reported on by ESPN:

Rutgers president Robert Barchi has delivered a vote of confidence for his pending athletic director hire despite allegations of abuse, saying in a statement that the school looks forward to Julie Hermann running the athletic department.

“We remain confident that we have selected an individual who will work in the best interests of all of our student athletes, our athletics teams, and the university,” Barchi said Monday in a statement.

In a phone interview with ESPN earlier Monday, Hermann said Barchi assured her she would not lose her job.

“It’s been communicated to me (by Barchi) that I’m the athletic director and will lead Rutgers into the Big Ten,” Hermann said.

According to Hermann, Barchi spoke with the Board of Governors on her behalf, and the board has reached out to her with a great deal of support.

I mean, it’s not like she threw basketballs at players heads while calling them gay slurs or anything.  What’s the worst she could have done?

Barchi’s assurances came after the Newark Star-Ledger reported Saturday that Hermann quit as the head women’s volleyball coach at Tennessee 16 years ago after all 15 of her players at the time, in a letter, accused her of calling them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”

Hermann’s response to these allegations?  That all 15 girls were liars.

It’s absolutely not true that I referred to them with any name calling like that,” Hermann said Monday. “That’s not part of my vocabulary.

“Am I an intense coach? Absolutely as many coaches are. There’s a big canyon between being super intense and abuse. This was not an abusive environment. Was it challenging? Yes. It was incredibly challenging. Was I aware players were unhappy? I was unaware by the end of the season. We had so many challenges with this group of women.”

She was completely unaware.

according to the Star-Ledger report, Hermann was confronted by players, who piled into an office — some sitting on the floor and others sitting on a black leather couch. After hearing their complaints, according to the report, Hermann said she didn’t want to coach the team anymore.

The players were not named in the report; however, one, Abbey Watkins, who played for Tennessee as Abbey Blazer from 1995-96, responded to the denials of mistreatment.

“I write this in response to make sure that the pain that we went through as a team is validated,” Watkins wrote in an email Monday to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz. “All of the things that were written are unfortunately true. Many of these things happened to me personally. I truly hope that Julie has changed but refuse for anyone to deny the fact that our dreams had been crushed and our hearts broken.”

“I pray that each of my teammates are happy and well despite what we went through,” Watkins continued in the email. “I was the first player to speak at the meeting with my team, Julie, Kim and Joan. I said that she had made me hate the game I loved. For her or anyone else in the room to say that meeting didn’t happen is appalling. I will never be able to get that day (and yes those black leather couches) out of my head.”

Bull!  In fact, two of her ex-players send her notes to see how she is doing.

However, Hermann said Amy Buchanan and Kelly Hanlon Dow, two former players, sent her e-mails a few years ago when she was an assistant athletic director at Louisville.

“They sent me notes,” Hermann said, “saying ‘glad you’re doing well. Life is good.’ They just wanted to say hey.”

See!  I bet the muckraking Newark Star-Ledger didn’t ask those ex-players, now did they?

Despite the supportive e-mails that Hermann said she received from Buchanan and Hanlon Dow, both women painted a different picture to the Star-Ledger.

Buchanan said in the first set of a match in 1994 at Tennessee, Hermann glared at Buchanan in a huddle.

“She looked at me and said, ‘What about you Buchanan?” she told the newspaper. “Are you going to lose the whole match for us?’ And she followed that up with a backhand to my gut.”

Hanlon Dow, a sophomore of the 1996 team, told the Star-Ledger: “How ironic that Rutgers had an abusive coach and they’re bringing in someone who was an abusive coach.’

Oh.

Hmmm.

Well…

But….

Her being athletic director will be a good thing for our money making male sports like football and basketball, you know, the ones people actually care about.  So those 15 girls are all lying.  After all, if they were all learning disabled whores who were drunk all the time, how can they even remember what kind of a coach Hermann was?  And besides, it is just a she said vs she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said thing.  Who knows which side to believe?

On the plus side, NJ lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie are not amused by this hiring decision and are calling Rutgers on the carpet.  Perhaps Christie will show them the meaning of abuse and get them to re-examine their decision.

Because of the allegations, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to discuss the allegations with Rutgers officials this week, the Associated Press reported.

Other New Jersey political leaders have spoken out against Hermann and former Gov. Richard Codey believes Barchi should resign as the school’s president.

Ya think?  Forgive me if I do not hold my breath while waiting.

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