Posted: June 6, 2013
Rutgers today has announced a change of school motto from “Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra”, which means “Sun of righteousness, shine upon the West also” to “Stultus est sicut stultus facit”, which means “stupid is as stupid does.”
Rutgers is attempting to demonstrate it can be as stubborn as a brick wall that you are trying to win an argument against, or in other words, my eleven year old daughter. And Rutgers is doing a great job of it.
Rutgers incoming Athletic Director Julie Hermann addressed the media yesterday and showed such skill at avoiding the relevant topic, that Chris Christie is considering nominating her to the Senate. Where to being picking apart this disaster of a hire and the ongoing disaster at Rutgers?
Ok, let’s start at the top. Rutgers President Robert Barchi is clearly trying to be anointed as the replacement to E. Gordon Gee’s (who is “retiring” as Ohio State President on July 1) buffoonery. Mr. Barchi continues to fail to recognize that his esteemed search committee, which ignored the search consultant it hired, has made a terrible mistake. His statements yesterday that Julie Hermann will ensure a great transition to the Big Ten could only be taken to mean that Rutgers will live up to the OSU model of Presidential oration of …insert foot into mouth, apologize, repeat.
Now let’s move onto Julie Hermann herself. Please correct me if I am interpreting it incorrectly, but I believe that her statements make the point that the best way to move on from a regime of atrocities is to place in charge a new and different perpetrator of atrocities. Would this not be like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of Enron after Kenneth Lay (of Enron fame) was ousted? Yes, he will clean it up! She truly does give new meaning to “uniquely qualified” in that it is unique when you see the Chris Brown’s of the world in charge of the local woman’s shelter.
But the most absurd thing of the entire situation is that Rutgers is going to obstinately continue on down the path to oblivion. Is there any way that this can work out positively? Best case scenario, this goes away in a year. Worst case scenario, the mind can only imagine. The risk reward analysis that someone should be doing says cut your losses, and do it now. Loyalty is a good thing, but misplaced loyalty can be a disaster.
I have not even mentioned the issue of new basketball coach Eddie Jordan “padding” his resume, which on its own is not the worst thing in the world, but combined with all else going on at Rutgers and given who he was replacing, just adds more fuel to the fire.
At least with E. Gordon Gee, you can see why Ohio State was loathed to do anything. The man can raise money, and boat loads of it. I do not see the same thing Rutgers. If it was not clear before that the path to fix this mess was to clean house starting at the top with President Barchi, then it has now been shouted from the mountaintops.
Rutgers needed to bring in someone of impeccable stature to clean up after the Mike Rice situation and right the ship. I would say that it was epic failure. Whether the search committee ignored Julie Hermann’s past or were derelict in their duty and did not know about them, epic failure.
Rutgers has now joined the Big Ten, so they are playing in the big leagues. Does anybody think there is a chance that President Barchi and new AD Julie Hermann will be able to raise the kinds of funds to allow Rutgers to be competitive within the Big Ten, after what has transpired in the past few months? And do they have even an ounce of credibility with anyone?
Even if the facts of all this are in dispute, perception is reality. To recruits. To donors. To fans. To the public at large.