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New Rutgers athletic director addresses hiring controversy

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New Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann sure didn’t sound like someone who was going to lose her job during a Wednesday news conference on the New Jersey campus.

Hermann, recently hired away from Louisville, met with reporters to address allegations she mistreated players when she was the volleyball coach at Tennessee in the 1990s.

Hermann was hired to replace Tim Pernetti, who was forced to resign as AD in the aftermath of a player-abuse scandal involving ousted basketball coach Mike Rice.

“It’s been a tough time for everybody on campus,” Hermann said. “It’s been a bout of turmoil.”

Hermann said her experiences at Tennessee make her uniquely qualified to lead Rutgers.

“I’ve been at every spot that exists in an athletic department,” she said.

Several former Tennessee players have accused Hermann of being a tyrannical coach who called them “whores, alcoholics and learning-disabled.”

Hermman has denied the allegations and said Wednesday it was “heartbreaking to hear the voices of those people.”

Hermann also met with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. The controversies at Rutgers coincide with the school’s decision last fall to leave the Big East for the Big Ten.

Hermann said “I feel like I’m completely an open book” when it comes to issues in her past.

Delany said at a New York press conference that Rutgers’ 2014 move to the Big Ten was not in jeopardy.

He said Rutgers will become a member “on time, in place.”

Hermann’s first day at Rutgers is scheduled for June 17.

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