Former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti issues letter of resignation

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti at a press conference announcing the move of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights from the Big East conference to the Big Ten conference at the Hale Center. (Patti Sapone/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports)

Now-former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti helped move Rutgers out of the sinking Big East and into the rich Big Ten, but that was not enough to help save his job. (Patti Sapone/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports)

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was forced to resign from his post following ESPN’s Outside the Lines broadcasting of practice videos showing basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing players.

Pernetti had first seen the tapes months before and had chosen to simply suspend and fine Rice instead of kicking him to the curb. Once the tapes were released to the general public, however, the outcry was simply too overwhelming to allow either Rice or Pernetti to keep their jobs.

[Related: Watch the video of Mike Rice’s abusive practices here]

On Friday, Pernetti issued his Letter of Resignation, via

Dr. Robert L. Barchi, President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
83 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281

Dear Dr. Barchi:

I write in confirmation of our conversation earlier today during which we agreed that it was in the best interests of Rutgers University that I step down from my position as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. I do so reluctantly because I always have and always will love Rutgers. I want to thank the people who have supported me throughout my years as a student-athlete and Athletic Director and help them understand my reasoning in this situation.

My continued tenure as Athletic Director is no longer sustainable for the University which I attended and where a piece of me will always remain. In connection with the incidents involving former basketball Coach Mike Rice, as was the case with all other matters which I handled on behalf of the University, I always tried my best to do what is right. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today. As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.

I trust that my tenure at Rutgers will not be judged by this one incident. I am proud of my efforts to lead Rutgers into the Big Ten, and of all of the accomplishments of our student-athletes in the classroom and on the field of play. I want to thank our great fans, the hardest working staff in collegiate athletics, and every one of our fine student-athletes. It has been my great pleasure to serve my alma mater.


Tim Pernetti
Class of 1993

MORE: Mike Rice talks to ABC News regarding his firing