Rutgers athletic department controversy could affect fundraising from alumni, other donors
EDISON - Alumni and financial supporters of Rutgers University are not happy about the controversy surrounding the firing of Coach Mike Rice and the athletic department.
Rutgers says incoming athletic director Julie Hermann will be on campus this week, keeping meetings and appointments despite rumors that Hermann would not start her new position.
But many donors say they feel alienated by the university and President Robert Barchi. Some are considering holding back funding if the school continues on its current path.
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Rutgers alumni Andy Sisti founded the "I support Tim Pernetti" Facebook page and leads an effort to bring back the former athletic director. He disagrees with how the school has handled the controversy.
"It's very embarrassing for alumni of Rutgers, for which i'd been very proud of," Sisti says. "We hate seeing this. And its not just me, its a lot of people who feel this way."
Sisti estimates approximately $50 million in donations are on hold while supporters wait to see how the university reacts. He says there is a clause in Julie Hermann's contract which says it can be terminated if she brings shame to Rutgers.
Pernetti supporters say bringing back the former AD would unite students, alumni and donors.