PISCATAWAY - Hundreds of protesters turned out at Rutgers Day to demand the re-hiring of former athletic director Tim Pernetti, who was fired in the wake of the Mike Rice student abuse scandal.

Pernetti resigned two days after Rutgers fired its men’s basketball head coach for abusive coaching practices caught on tape. Pernetti had seen the footage months earlier, but chose to suspend Rice rather than dismiss him on the advice of Rutgers’ legal team.

Protesters say Rutgers is using Pernetti as a scapegoat.

Protest organizers have also started a petition drive on Facebook with 5,000 supporters.

There was no official comment from Rutgers on the Pernetti protests.