The fallout from a disturbing video of basketball practice at Rutgers University continued Friday as Tim Pernetti is out as the school's athletic director.
Initial reports had Pernetti being fired, though ESPN's Brett McMurphy is reporting that he resigned. Either way, Pernetti, who was integral in Rutgers' move to the Big 10, is out of a job some 24 hours after he fired Mike Rice, the head basketball coach who is the central figure of a video in which he shoves players, hurls basketballs at them and berates them with gay slurs.
Last November, Pernetti received a copy of the video and after an investigation decided in December to suspend Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.
"Accountability is a vital element of the Rutgers athletics family," Pernetti said at the time, "and it is imperative our head coaches act and lead in a responsible manner."
The pressure for more of a reaction boiled over Tuesday when ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' aired portions of the 30-minute video. In it, Rice can be seen throwing basketballs at a player's head, shoving them and calling one player an "f---ing fairy" and an "f---ing fa--ot."
The video went viral, public outrage ensued – it drew criticism from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – and Wednesday Pernetti did what many believed he should have done months ago. In explaining Rice's firing, Pernetti said "dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community."
Pernetti, 42, will not get the chance.
His departure is no small blow to Rutgers. A former tight end for the Scarlet Knights, Pernetti was hired as the school's athletic director in 2009. He was instrumental in the university's move to the Big 10, which was announced last November and scheduled to begin in 2014.