Rutgers hires new lawyer amid basketball coach scandal
New Brunswick, N.J. • Rutgers University took steps Thursday to publicly address the fallout from the scandal over its men's basketball coach, announcing an expected independent review and hiring a respected former state attorney general as the new top lawyer for the school.
The measures, announced at the first board of governors meeting since coach Mike Rice was fired last week, were intended to get the university back on track during a time of transformation. Rutgers is absorbing most parts of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, including two medical schools, and is working on a strategic plan for how to catapult the school to be among the highest-regarded public universities in the nation.
The meeting centered mostly on those overarching issues, though the dozens of journalists at the meeting and an appearance from the president of the state Senate showed the deep interest in the Rice situation, and questions remained over the fate of one board member.
Rice was suspended, fined and ordered to anger management counseling in December after a former basketball program employee gave school officials a video showing the head coach hitting and kicking players and using gay slurs as he yelled at them during practice.
ESPN reported on the video last week, and Rice was fired, an assistant coach resigned and so did Tim Pernetti, the school's popular 42-year-old athletic director.