Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has questions about the latest information to come out about new athletic director Julie Hermann. Unlike others, he is in a position to do something about it.
If you missed it, the Star-Ledger ran a story late last night on how Julie Hermann’s career as a volleyball coach came to an end at Tennessee. Several former players–eleven different players who played under Hermann at Tennessee in the 1990′s–say that she was abusive and that 15 players from the 1996-1997 team submitted a letter complaining of her mental abuse. According to the former players, Hermann had called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”
Hermann denied ever knowing about such a letter or such a confrontation when asked. Of course, her credibility is in serious question since she also forgets even attending weddings at which she was a bridesmaid.
One of the other issues that came up was a wrongful termination lawsuit when an assistant coach claims that she was fired by Hermann because she got pregnant. That suit was settled in 1997. However, when pressed about that at her recent introduction, including being asked about a wedding video where Hermann made comments, she denied any video would exist.
Well, it does. Hermann went so far as to deny even attending the wedding of Ginger Heinemann, her former assistant, to the Star-Ledger. It turns out she was a bridesmaid in the wedding. I don’t know about you, but I do recall every wedding in which I was a member of a wedding party, even several years later. The underlying circumstances–a lawsuit involving another coach from over fifteen years ago–may have been forgiven with the passage of time. The denial of even remembering a wedding of a fellow coach when she was a bridesmaid and caught the bouquet, though, is fairly unbelievable. That in turn, raises questions about the other allegations.
Amazing that Rutgers could hire an athletic director because of an abusive coach, but has perhaps found an equally sticky situation in return. Good job, good effort, Rutgers.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]