Tim Pernetti resigns as Rutgers athletic director

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

The fallout of Mike Rice's controversial practice videos is hitting Rutgers hard.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti is a big reason why Rutgers is headed to the Big Ten Conference next year. For the most part, he was widely liked and respected within the community.

More: On the Banks

As the impact of Mike Rice's controversial practice videos continues to be felt throughout the sports world, Pernetti has resigned as AD at Rutgers.

Here is the letter Pernetti wrote to school president Dr. Robert L. Barchi on Friday.

"Dear Dr. Barchi:

I write in confirmation of our conversation earlier today during which we agreed that it was in the best interests of Rutgers University that I step down from my position as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. I do so reluctantly because I always have and always will love Rutgers. I want to thank the people who have supported me throughout my years as a student-athlete and Athletic Director and help them understand my reasoning in this situation.

My continued tenure as Athletic Director is no longer sustainable for the University which I attended and where a piece of me will always remain. In connection with the incidents involving former basketball Coach Mike Rice, as was the case with all other matters which I handled on behalf of the University, I always tried my best to do what is right. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today. As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice's behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.

I trust that my tenure at Rutgers will not be judged by this one incident. I am proud of my efforts to lead Rutgers into the Big Ten, and of all of the accomplishments of our student-athletes in the classroom and on the field of play. I want to thank our great fans, the hardest working staff in collegiate athletics, and every one of our fine student-athletes. It has been my great pleasure to serve my alma mater.

Sincerely,

Tim Pernetti
Class of 1993"

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