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Rutgers should delay AD announcement for due diligence

Regardless of what ever mishaps may have happened with not registering properly, Eddie Jordan is a true Scarlet Knight and will get the benefit of the doubt in Piscataway for that reason. The same goes for Tim Pernetti. Doubly so; the matter of fact that any athletic director hire will be replacing a favorite son who many believe is unfairly taking the fall for the mistakes of others means that there will be a high level of scrutiny on his successor to begin with.

That level of pressure will only be ratcheted up after Rutgers failed to perform an adequate background check on Jordan. That at least was understandable, as there was an urgent need to name a coach so that Rutgers could even field a team next year. Where's the urgency to name an athletic director though? There are no other hires to make, and the school's big donors are already mad anyway after the way Pernetti was treated, so any notion that a new hire is going to quickly win back their favor is unlikely at best to downright naive.

It almost seems as if the rush is to get ahead of an investigation into what exactly happened with Mike Rice last November, anyway. Pernetti partisans believe that a report could vindicate him and that the Rutgers administration and state government simply will not tolerate any distractions before the July 1st merger with UMDNJ, while the more likely explanation is simply that Pres. Barchi, the board of governors, and New Jersey politicians simply want to move on in hopes that everyone will calm down and not rock the boat. Fat chance.

Rutgers had to wait days to hire Eddie Jordan (which as we know, accomplished nothing and may have hurt recruiting for this year's class.) Given that happening, how come there isn't going to be a similar delay? The two athletic director candidates are reportedly meeting key figures over the next two days, with an announcement due Wednesday. How can that quick of a turnaround be possible here with a hire that may not be well received, when we have literally seen over the past two days that Jordan is so widely loved that we will look past his warts? Why drag your feet then and not now?

At the very least, there are incidents in both candidates' pasts that they will have to explain in depth. Sean Frazier had tangential involvement in a scandal involving another Wisconsin athletic department official. Hermann left Tennessee (where she had been head women's volleyball coach) under a cloud of scandal following a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit by one of her assistant coaches. (No link available, so quoting the relevant part.)

EX-UT VOLLEYBALL COACH AWARDED $150,000 OVER FIRING Knoxville News-Sentinel, The (TN) - Thursday, June 5, 1997

Hineline's suit alleges she was discouraged from becoming pregnant, lest it affect her duties. Her complaint recounted Hineline asking Hermann whether she would lose her job if she had a child, and Hermann's response was, ``I hope it doesn't come to that,'' according to the suit. `

`Julie and I had various conversations that discouraged me from becoming pregnant,'' Hineline said Wednesday.

Leadbetter contended Hineline's termination was Cronan's decision and that it ``was made by Joan Cronan before she ever knew Ginger was pregnant. It was based on the volleyball program being unsuccessful that year. It was either the head coach or the assistant coach.''

Hineline had informed Cronan of her intention to start a family, according to court testimony. May said documents were presented in court as evidence of Hermann's involvement in the termination decision.

There may well, heck, there likely is (one would hope) no merit to both of these allegations, but you can sure bet that plenty of news outlets will be digging up this information, contacting the other parties, requesting court records and the like. Rutgers better be doing that too in advance, or they're going to be in a lot more trouble than the nothing pseudo-scandal with Eddie Jordan that ultimately didn't really mean anything either way. Mind you, this is just something that any schlep can find with Google or Newsbank. Is it that much of a problem if we take a few extra days with this one to make sure that we get it right?