April 25, 2019 | 56° F

Hermann responds to allegations

Newly appointed Athletic Director Julie Hermann is receiving fresh allegations of verbal and emotional abuse from former players, according to The Star-Ledger.

All 15 players on the University of Tennessee women’s volleyball team submitted a letter describing Hermann’s time as head coach 16 years ago as rife with humiliation, fear and emotional abuse. They said the coach called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”

"The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable," the players wrote.

But Hermann released a statement yesterday apologizing to her former athletes for disappointing them and said the allegations by former student athletes are heartbreaking.

“I am truly sorry that some were disappointed during my tenure as coach,” she said. “For sure, I was an intense coach, but there is a vast difference between high intensity and abusive behavior.”

Hermann is also facing questions on a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former assistant coach who said Hermann fired her because she became pregnant. But Hermann said she fired her because she was underperforming and not because she was pregnant.

“On the matter of the litigation, that issue was addressed many years ago and was known to Rutgers,” Hermann said.

The University issued a statement Friday regarding the new allegations.

“We have looked at the totality of Julie's record in athletics administration and we look forward to her continued success as she leads Rutgers' transition into the Big Ten,” read the statement.

Hermann, in her statement, said she has tried to learn from each mistake, including he lessons she learned as a young coach.

“I have become a stronger leader, administrator, and educator as a result,” she said. “If you look at my 25 year career in athletics, I believe the record shows I am a steadfast advocate for student athletes.”

By Julian Chokkattu

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