Rutgers' new athletic director says she's not resigning

Julie Hermann talks to the media after being introduced as Rutgers University athletic director on May 15, 2013 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Hermann, 49, most recently served as University of Louisville's senior associate athletic director. She replaces Tim Pernetti who resigned on April 5 in the wake of footage came to light of then-head basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing his players during multiple practices. Rich Schultz/Getty Images

(CBS News) Rutgers University has found itself in a new controversy involving its athletic department.

The person brought in to fix problems from the past is facing accusations herself.

Julie Hermann
Julie Hermann
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On Monday, Julie Hermann said she has not considered resigning, but she may not have the final word.

When Rutgers University hired 49-year-old Julie Hermann as its new athletic director, she spoke of change.

"There is no one that doesn't agree that we treat young people with respect with dignity and build trust," Hermann said at the time.

Rutgers hoped Hermann would repair the damage done by a video of former head basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing players. Rice was fired, and his boss, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, resigned.

But now, Hermann is accused of abusive behavior when she coached volleyball at the University of Tennessee. Kelly Dow was one of 16 players on Hermann's 1996 team to complain the coach destroyed their love of the game.

New Rutgers athletic director facing abuse, "cruelty" allegations
Mike Rice fired by Rutgers after video shows coach abusing players

"To give that much physically and emotionally and to just have it stomped on repeatedly, its just everyone has a breaking point," Dow said.

She joined teammates in writing a letter that said Hermann called them "....whores, alcoholics and learning disabled."

On Monday, Hermann denied the accusations on a conference call with reporters. She said: "There's a big canyon between being super intense and abuse. This was not an abusive environment.

"Was I aware they were unhappy? I was aware of that by the end of the season and I was unhappy," she added.

But some New Jersey lawmakers -- including State Senator Richard Codey -- insist Hermann must go.

"What and how did she get into the mix? In this particular situation you vet somebody not once, not twice but three times," Codey said. "It's time for her to pack her bags and for the president to head on out and let us try to get over this."

Hermann says she has matured. Governor Chris Christie says he will meet with Rutgers' president to discuss the situation. Hermann doesn't officially start until June 17th.


On Monday afternoon, Hermann issued this statement:

"Throughout my career, I have worked with an unwavering commitment to the interests of student athletes. I have worked to demonstrate that women deserve places of leadership in university athletics and to ensure that student athletes are treated with the respect and dignity. That is what makes the allegations made by some of my former student athletes at the University of Tennessee so heartbreaking.

I know the recently published story has caused distress. I was never notified of the reported letter outlining the concerns of some former athletes. However, I am truly sorry that some were disappointed during my tenure as coach. For sure, I was an intense coach, but there is a vast difference between high intensity and abusive behavior.

On the matter of the litigation, that issue was addressed many years ago and was known to Rutgers. I am sorry for the confusion I created by misspeaking about the existence of a video tape. It was recorded nearly 20 years ago and I simply did not recall the video tape until I saw it in media reports.

Over the years, I have tried to learn from each mistake, including the lessons I learned as ayoung coach. I have become a stronger leader, administrator, and educator as a result. If you look at my 25-year career in athletics, I believe the record shows I am a steadfast advocate for student athletes. I intend to take that passion and hard-earned experience into my leadership role as Athletic Director of Rutgers University."

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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