The most damning part of the Mike Rice player abuse scandal for Rutgers is this: school officials saw the shocking video in December, but only fired him when the video was made public four months later.
After you watch that video, it’s impossible to conclude anything other than Rice should be fired.
So any Rutgers official who saw that video in December will have some serious questions to answer in the coming days.
And luckily for him, Rutgers University president Robert Barchi was supposedly not one of the people who saw it in December. In a statement released yesterday, he implied that he saw the video for the first time yesterday morning. Today, a spokesman confirmed that Barchi didn’t see the video in December to Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger.
There’s some confusion about this.
ESPN reported that Barchi saw the video in December, and that he still signed off on the suspension after watching it. And athletic director Tim Pernetti told reporters that Barchi had seen the video at a Q&A yesterday, according the Newark Star-Ledger.
But Pernetti didn’t mean that Barchi had seen the video in December, his spokesman told the paper, he meant that he saw it that morning.
So Barchi and Pernetti are now both contending that he saw the video for the first time yesterday.
You can certainly criticise Barchi for signing off on the suspension without seeing the evidence. But because he didn’t see the video until the rest of us saw it, he will probably emerge from this scandal relatively unscathed.