NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. —
"I also apologize to the LGBT community and all of us who share their values for the homophobic slurs shown on that video. I personally know how hurtful that language can be."
Based on the information he received from Pernetti, Barchi said he "agreed with and supported his recommendation to suspend, rather than fire, coach Rice at that time. It was not until Tuesday evening of this week, when I watched the video, that I had the opportunity to witness personally for the first time what Tim had seen last fall.
"I was deeply disturbed by the behavior that the video revealed, which was much more abusive and pervasive than I had understood it to be. As Tim acknowledged on Wednesday, his decision to rehabilitate, rather than fire, coach Rice was wrong."
Barchi said the school hopes to appoint an interim athletic director in a few days but he admitted he had no idea whether that person would come from inside or outside the university.
The 42-year-old Pernetti is a Rutgers graduate who played tight end for the Scarlet Knights from 1989-93.
Pernetti said in his resignation letter to Barchi that "my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice's behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel."
"Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved," it said.
Pernetti enjoys some popularity among Rutgers alumni and donors, especially after he helped the school move to the Big Ten Conference, which means millions in additional revenue from TV contracts and more national exposure, especially in football. The move, which becomes official in 2014, should provide a big boost to the program in recruiting and season ticket sales. The Scarlet Knights will continue to play next season in the Big East.
Two of Rutgers' leading donors have threatened to cut their contributions in the wake of Pernetti's resignation.
Tom Mendiburu, whose High Point Solutions paid $6 million for the naming rights to the university's football stadium, tweeted that he was concerned because he made the deal because of Pernetti.