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.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.