Rutgers Names Interim Athletic Director as Rice Fallout Goes on

Rutgers University named Carl Kirschner as interim athletic director to replace Tim Pernetti, who resigned last week amid questions over his handling of evidence that the men’s basketball coach physically and verbally abused players.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based university also announced the formation of a search committee to seek a permanent successor to Pernetti, President Robert Barchi said in an e-mailed release.

Kirschner is special counsel for academic programs in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and was dean of Rutgers College for 13 years. He also was chairman of a Rutgers committee that reviewed the applications of prospective Rutgers athletes and monitored their academic progress.

“His many years of service to the university community and to our student athletes give me every confidence in his ability to oversee the Rutgers athletics program until we find a new athletic director,” Barchi said in the statement.

Pernetti resigned on April 5, three days after a national telecast of a video showed coach Mike Rice physically punishing players by throwing balls at their heads in practice and verbally attacking them with vulgarities and gay slurs. Rice, who was originally suspended for three games and fined $50,000 for what the school called “inappropriate behavior and language,” was fired a day after the video went public.

The search committee for a permanent athletic director will be led by Kate Sweeney, senior vice president and certified financial planner with Morgan Stanley in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Richard Edwards, executive vice president for academic affairs, according to the release. The remainder of the committee will be named in the near future, Barchi said in the release, and will represent a “broad cross-section” of the Rutgers community.

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