Rutgers Names Former New Jersey Attorney General as Counsel

Rutgers University has appointed former New Jersey Attorney General John J. Farmer Jr. senior vice president and general counsel in the wake of a scandal over the handling of an abusive basketball coach.

Farmer, who served as the state attorney general from 1999 to 2002, has been dean of Rutgers's law school in Newark since July 2009, Rutgers said today in a statement on its website.

He replaces John Wolf, who resigned amid reports that he advised Rutgers to suspend and not fire Mike Rice after video emerged of the coach verbally and physically abusing players.

“I am pleased that John Farmer, our outstanding dean, will assume his new responsibilities as senior vice president and general counsel,” university President Robert Barchi said in the statement. “John’s legal expertise and deep experience at many levels of leadership will serve Rutgers well at a critical time for the university.”

Rutgers, which has its largest campus in New Brunswick, has been embroiled in controversy since it was revealed last week that the president opted to suspend the basketball coach last year amid the abuse allegations. Barchi fired Rice last week after video was leaked. Since then, at least three university officials have resigned, including Wolf and Tim Pernetti, the athletic director, and assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli.

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