The AP got in touch with Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti recently, three (wait, isn't it actually two and half?) months to the day that he took over. The naysayers may have portrayed Pernetti as a rubber stamp for the football program, but that's not at all how he's coming off in the press.
"With fundraising you have to figure out what your priorities are," Pernetti said. "We know with scholarships, we have various sports that aren't near the equivalent that the NCAA permits. In certain ways, we're not giving our coaches what they need to succeed. So that's a big priority, and then there's the facilities that come into play."
To that end, Pernetti said the department is working on plans for a basketball practice facility along with a refurbished Rutgers Athletic Center. An announcement on how it would be paid for _ and a timeline of when it would be completed by _ could come as early as this summer, according to Pernetti.
"I, for one, believe the RAC has served the university well for a long time," he said. "I also think that a project to revitalize the RAC is not just a practice facility for our basketball teams. It's also about a project that can impact 19 of our 24 sports in one shot. It's about an effort to try to bring wrestling and volleyball from College Avenue over to the RAC. It's about trying to create a better environment for most of our sports."
But for the football fans out there, Tim is by no means putting your concerns to the wayside. First would be the stadium, and then it's scheduling, scheduling, scheduling.
"I know there's been stuff out there with UCLA and those conversations are still active. And then there's a bunch of other conversations that are very involved. But over the next several months we expect to make several announcements about future games."
Actions will ultimately speak louder than words, but Pernetti continues to do a marvelous job with the press. There is no better figure to be the public face of the athletic department.