July 21, 2018 | ° F

Dear Rutgers Board of Governors

Letter to the editor

Former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti is the embodiment of Rutgers Athletics and already a University legend. He has forged the University’s path into the Big Ten, created the relationships to sell the naming rights to the stadium and instilled an academic environment that has allowed the University to be on the top of the Academic Progress Rating rankings. The list of positive stories could go on and on, but our favorite story about Pernetti is when former football coach Greg Schiano, another University legend, left for the NFL on the eve of national signing day. Pernetti reacted by becoming a football assistant and saving one of the most heralded recruiting classes in University history. We were so proud of Pernetti that day. It was not because he saved the recruiting class — well, maybe it was — but really, we thought “What other athletic director could have reacted that quickly and be able to garner enough trust to make these kids commit to a coachless program?” No other athletic director in this great nation could have done that. Reinstate Tim Pernetti.

There are several reasons why we believe you should reinstate Pernetti. This is the main one: Once alerted to the incident, he contacted Rutgers General Counsel Office, a prestigious outside law firm, the University’s human resources department and University President Robert L. Barchi. He reacted how he reacted in every other situation — with candor and honesty.  His legal counsel advised that Rice could not be fired “for cause.” Pernetti trusted his attorneys and decided, with the consent of Barchi, to rehabilitate Rice. Pernetti followed the Rutgers process.

We listened to Barchi’s press conference, and he repetitively said the phrase, “failure of process.” If it was a “failure of process,” then how could it be Pernetti’s fault? This was not Pernetti’s failure, but rather the University’s failure. Pernetti followed the University’s process to the tee, not the other way around. How can you blame someone for following your own rules? Thus, Board of Governors, you must reinstate Tim Pernetti.

We have urged all our friends to call and state they will not donate if Pernetti is not reinstated. That should matter. We are the alumni, and if you don’t listen to us, who exactly are you listening to? ESPN? For a school that predates the founding of our nation, our endowment is downright miserable. Pernetti has and can continue to change that, so finally, we say reinstate Tim Pernetti.

Jason Saad is a 2005 University alumnus. Adam Saad is a 2001 University alumnus. Scott Angus is a 2008 University alumnus. Markos Potros is a 2008 University alumnus.

By Jason Saad

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