NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A report commissioned by Rutgers University after a scandal led to the ousting of its basketball coach and athletic director finds breakdowns in communication as the university learned about the coach's physical and verbal abuse of players.
The report calls for the university's board and central administration to take tighter control of the finances and communications of the athletics department at New Jersey's flagship state university.
"It is crucial that the risks and rewards of the athletics program be managed with extraordinary diligence and care," the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom wrote in the report.
University spokesman Greg Trevor says implementing the recommendations will be a top priority for the upcoming school year.
"We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that every student is treated with dignity and respect and that our Rutgers community remains a model of diversity, equity, and inclusion," University President Robert Barchi said Monday in an email sent to faculty and staff.
The firm was hired in May to hash through the details of problems that blew up a month earlier, when video was made public of then-basketball coach Mike Rice berating players with anti-gay slurs, kicking them and throwing basketballs at them during practices over three years.
The analysis of what happened focused largely on late 2012, when Eric Murdock, a former member of the basketball coaching staff, presented the university with video compiled from tapes of practice he obtained from the school through an open records request.
The report finds that athletic director Tim Pernetti and John Wolf, the school's top in-house lawyer, took the issue seriously enough that they hired a law firm to gather facts on Rice's behavior and that Pernetti soon told Mark Hershhorn, the chairman of the Board of Governor's athletics committee.