NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
If there’s one positive thing about the continually unravelling scandal at Rutgers University it’s that it hasn’t done any harm to the economy. It was reported over the weekend that the FBI has entered the investigation into incidents surrounding the videotape of men’s basketball coach Mike Rice’s treatment of his players in practice. The FBI is looking into whether a former Rutgers basketball assistant coach is guilty of extortion for threatening to release the video unless the university paid him a reported one million dollars. Yesterday the university announced it has commissioned an independent review of Rice’s conduct and the ways the university handled the situation after learning of his actions in practice, including physically and verbally abusing players. And now there’s a report out of New Jersey that the Big Ten, which was blindsided by all of this after inviting Rutgers to become a member, in an effort to avoid further embarrassment, will establish it’s own committee to assist in the search for a new Rutgers athletic director, while Rutgers retains all it’s new found Big Ten riches. There seems to be plenty of work to go around, except for the fired few, Rice, assistant coach Jim Martelli, senior vice president and general counsel John Wolf and athletic director Tim Pernetti. The other key players in the scenario seem to have bullet proof job security, even with cries for their jobs from normally sedentary jersey politicians. Board of governors head Mark Hershorn still enjoys his position of power despite having seen the video in question in December and sitting silent after a three game suspension was determined to be punishment enough for Rice, and university president Robert Barchi, who may or may not have been keeping a lid on the actions of the coach to keep from jeopardizing the invitation from the Big Ten, just recieved a vote of confidence from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As for the fired, don’t cry for them. Rice takes certain salary guarantees with him as he seeks new employment and Wolf’s job was just an interim position, so enough heads have rolled to keep from spilling the blood of the well insulated. Pernetti, it has been learned, leaves with one and a quarter million dollars in bonuses, a $12,000 annual car allowance for the remainder of the year, university paid health insurance for the next two years, and he gets to keep his school issued I-Pad. There’s a great thing about a college sports scandal. It creates more job opportunities than the federal government, while offering plenty of job security for the survivors and golden parachutes for the guilty. Nice work if you can get it, even if you lose it. Everyone wins except the system. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.