Tim Pernetti, the director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers University, has resigned. Pernetti left on Friday just days after a video of basketball coach Mike Rice went public.
In the video, Rice can be seen abusing players both physically and verbal. He was seen grabbing, pushing, and even throwing a ball at a player’s head, in addition to calling them gay slurs while they were at practice.
In a letter to the university, Pernetti said he wished he had overridden school officials and fired basketball coach Mike Rice.
“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,” Pernetti said in his resignation letter. “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.”
In the letter, Pernetti went on to say that his position was to fire Rice — although earlier this week he had said he was intent on rehabilitating the coach’s behavior, in part through counseling — but that he apparently didn’t have the support of his superiors.
In December, with approval from Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi, Pernetti suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 when the abuse was brought to his attention.
“I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today,” Pernetti said. “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.”