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Rutgers Prez Lays Groundwork To Can A.D.

As we understand it, when allegations of abuse by Mike Rice first came up, the president and athletic director at Rutgers reviewed the situation and decided to retain Rice but to take certain preventative measures.

Now, however, the president, Robert L. Barchi, has issued a statement in which he says he never saw the videos of practice and subtly placed blame on his A.D., Tim Pernetti: "When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti..."

This is classic CYA. Pernetti is being set up to be the next to go. Don't misunderstand, he might deserve to be fired and probably does, but at this point, clearly, it's every man for himself. Barchi seems fully prepared to throw the man under the bus. If so, it's a convenient throw.

We are being asked to believe first that Barchi is so detached and unconcerned about physical and psychological abuse of his students that he finds it acceptable to not personally view the evidence and to trust a subordinate to make the call.

Okay, maybe. But it's not the sociology department. It's athletics, which Dean Smith neatly (and rightly) called the front porch of the university. The lawyers are circling the university as we speak. Does he not understand what is at stake?

Second, we are being asked to believe that Barchi was at first okay with Pernetti's decision and that only found qualms after a public outcry. Well, sorry, that's not a believable stance.

Either he knew or he should have known. You'd think that in the middle of the radioactive disaster that was Penn State any president would have had more sense.

If Pernetti has to go, it's hard to see an argument for Barchi staying. Might as well get the broom out and really clean house.

And porch.