Rutgers University Introduces New Athletic Director Julie Hermann

Administrators, former assistant voice support for Rutgers AD Julie Hermann

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On Saturday evening the Newark Star-Ledger filed a report regarding allegations of verbal abuse by new Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann during her tenure at the volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee.

The allegations are the latest development in a saga that began with the revelation of former head basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing players in practices.

And they certainly don’t help an administration that vowed to conduct thorough background checks when looking for a new coach and athletic director.

On Sunday evening some of Hermann’s former colleagues and fellow administrators voiced their support for the embattled athletic director, with a former assistant of Hermann’s denying the alleged verbal abuse.

“Just to know what we went through with these kids, I can’t fathom why they would come up with these claims,” former Tennessee assistant volleyball coach Kimberly Tibbetts told Keith Sargeant of Gannett New Jersey.

“We were adults and they were kids so I don’t feel comfortable talking about what they went through. It was just a tough time for all of us. We were there for them. She was there for them. She held their hands when they struggled. She loved them, and for her and I both to sit there and look at so many of these names it really hurts.”

While there were words of support for Hermann there was also the entrance of politicians into the fray. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he’ll be in touch with Rutgers administrators to discuss the situation, and other state politicians want both Hermann and school president Dr. Robert L. Barchi to step down.

It remains to be seen what will come of the latest development in Rutgers Athletics. But with the program just over a year away from entering the Big Ten, the sooner this is all resolved the better.

The school has taken a beating from a perception standpoint in recent months, and a good portion of it has been self-inflicted.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.