I'm not sure this will have wings outside New York, but there's a story in the NYT today about Julie Hermann, who was hired as Rutgers' athletic director in the wake of the revelation that a coach humiliated and abused Rutgers basketball players. Turns out, she may be worse than the train wreck she replaced.
The woman hired to clean up Rutgers' scandal-scarred athletic program quit as Tennessee's women's volleyball coach 16 years ago after her players submitted a letter complaining she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse, The Star-Ledger reported Saturday night on its website.
"The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable," the players wrote about Julie Hermann...Doesn't anyone check a person's background before hiring them, especially in the wake of a well-publicized scandal? But the best part is the woman's response and attitude. She's right up there with wingnut Republicans.
The 49-year-old Hermann, set to take over the Rutgers' program June 17, told The Star-Ledger she didn't remember the letter. The newspaper said when it was read to her by phone Wednesday, she replied, "Wow."
I laughed out loud when I read that. There's also this tidbit from her past:
At that news conference [to announce her hire], Hermann was questioned about a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former Tennessee assistant coach who said Hermann fired her because she became pregnant.
Here's a bit more about the complaints that were made regarding her behavior toward the young women on the team:
"Their accounts depict a coach who thought nothing of demeaning them, who would ridicule and laugh at them over their weight and their performances, sometimes forcing players to do 100 sideline pushups during games, who punished them after losses by making them wear their workout clothes inside out in public or not allowing them to shower or eat, and who pitted them against one another, cutting down particular players with the whole team watching, and through gossip.
When the Star-Ledger asked her about the grievances of the women she coached, this was her response:
"I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that whatsoever," she told the newspaper. "None of this is familiar to me."
Seriously, someone needs to elect this woman to the House of Representatives immediately. She'd fit right in. And Rutgers, what the hell is wrong with you? You hired a pig to replace a pig. Jeez. The young people on Rutgers' athletic teams deserve better.