TRENTON, N.J. —
The Rutgers administration would not comment on Hershhorn’s account of events.
While the governor had issued statements previously, it was the first time Christie took questions about the scandal at the state’s flagship public university. The Republican governor added that had he been aware of the issues earlier he would have used his “power of persuasion” to try to get Rice fired then.
He said he viewed the video not only as a governor but as the father of a college athlete. His son Andrew plays baseball at Princeton.
“You’re talking about kids being miserably treated by the guy who determined whether they keep their scholarship or not,” Christie said. He said the video cost the coach his credibility with young athletes and their families.
“What parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son after this video?” he said.
Christie said it was a mistake for Barchi, who took office in September, not to watch the video last year when he first was told about it. But he said that leaders of large organizations must delegate some matters and that the mistake was not a firing offense.
It was Pernetti’s job to know what the coach was doing, Christie said. According to a settlement the university provided to The Associated Press on Monday, Pernetti is receiving $1.25 million as he departs, along with perks ranging from health insurance for more than two years to a $12,000 annual car allowance until next year and his university-issued iPad.
Rutgers announced Monday that it was commissioning an independent review of Rice’s conduct and the way the university responded to it. The board of governors will meet Thursday to discuss the review.
Also, board chairman Ralph Izzo said that while one board member — Hershhorn — had seen the video in December, it was not shown to other members. The topic of the coach’s conduct was discussed at a committee meeting in December, but it was not discussed at the full board meeting that month.