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Mark Zinno: Rutgers AD Should Go Down With Rice

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Once again, the NCAA has shown that it has total control over the things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of their authority – and no control over what’s really important. Once again, a university has proven that it is failing to monitor and supervise at the most basic level. And once again, the only ones who have suffered, have no recourse.

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Mike Rice said it best today when he said that he wasn’t going to make excuses, and thankfully he didn’t. I mean, really, what excuse could he make? The tape pretty much says it all. As for Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti, we’ve seen nothing but excuses. Nothing but mistakes and poor judgment.

How can anyone in their right mind watch more than 30 seconds of that tape and not be appalled? This is 2013! With each year, each month, each day that passes, we are more politically correct, more regulated, more legislated and more watched than ever before and Tim Pernetti can’t figure out that after 30 seconds of that video that something is wrong and he needs to do something to stop it?

In today’s “cover your ass” society, how can self-preservation not be Tim Pernetti’s first instinct? In almost every situation where something goes horribly wrong – whether it be poor work environments, social injustices or in worst cases, school shootings, we always look to blame at least one level up. Minimum wage workers at Walmart are upset, it goes beyond the local store manager. When horrific tragedies like Newtown, Connecticut happen – we look past the shooter and start looking at the parents, the teachers and the mentors.

When Tim Pernetti saw video of Mike Rice hurling basketballs at players and using homophobic slurs, he had to know that he was going to be held accountable and that he should be taking the most stern action possible. Why? Because we are an over-reactive society. And when you don’t overreact in the exact opposite manner, you are deemed to have poor judgment!

I just have to wonder about Pernetti – I mean, it should be pretty clear that you can never put your hands on a kid. You just can’t do it. If as an officer and leader in the Army, if I can’t put my hands on a cadet or private when training them – and training them to save their lives in combat – you certainly can never put your hands on a kid to win a basketball game.

Pernetti said that he hoped his suspension of rice would help rehabilitate his behavior … that’s not your job Tim. It’s not your responsibility to make him a better coach! If he wasn’t a good coach, you shouldn’t have hired him! You don’t have to make him a better coach, you have to run an athletic department and be a steward of the university, its students and student athletes. I was shocked when he said that. When you think of “rehabilitate,” you think of prison. That’s what jail is for.

And all this should lead to Tim Pernetti losing his job, because he should. We live in a finger-pointing country and when the public sees something go wrong, they use all 10 fingers to point at blame. Leadership failures are also accountable.

Zinno

Follow me on Twitter @MarkZinno

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