Rutgers made headlines on this Memorial Day weekend as new athletic director Julie Hermann was a topic of conversation across the country. The Newark Star Ledger reported that the the woman brought in to bring a sense of normalcy to Scarlet Knight athletics might not have been the breath of fresh air that the Rutgers fan base was looking for.
According to the Star Ledger, newly appointed athletic director, Julie Hermann, left her position as Tennessee women's volleyball coach after the 1996 season amidst a bit of controversy. According to a letter published by the Ledger, Hermann's team came out against her with a list of complaints, including 'mental cruelty.'
In the wake of that report, there has been an outpour of support for Hermann. Scarlet Nation has been contacted by numerous coaches and administrators looking to offer their support for Hermann, who was an athletic administrator at Louisville since 1998.
"I know I speak for all the [Louisville] coaches and it's very important for us to have a chance to have a voice from the last 15 years we have all known her," said Louisville women's head volleyball coach Anne Kordes. "I want people at Rutgers to understand that the only thing we're mad at around here is that we don't get her anymore. Rutgers is getting an incredible AD.
"You are not getting some abusive coach or an abusive person who rules out of fear or humiliation. I've seen what she's been able to do and how she has treated people, so it's important to me that the other voices are heard. The majority you are going to find, in my opinion, are in her corner."
Kordes offered her reaction after reading today's condemning reports oh Hermann.
"None of the things I've read today reflect any type of personality I've ever seen in the last fifteen years I've known her. It was really shocking because she carries herself with so much integrity."
Support also came from outside of Louisville. Shannon Myers, director of membership of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), had this to say.
"We are devastated to think people could make such a malicious attempt to brand one of the most integrity-backed, brilliant and selfless people in college athletics as anything but that before she even gets the opportunity to demonstrate her capability as an athletic director.
"Not only does Julie do things for the right reasons, but is one of few who has the capacity and resilience to, in her attempt to do the right thing, change the world for the better. She is special beyond belief and she deserves to be treated as the brilliant mind and tireless leader she is - one who will positively impact the landscape of college athletics for everyone."
Hermann previously served as the Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director at Louisville where she was in charge of overseeing 20 of the 23 school's sports. According to Kordes, Hermann's efforts were not just limited to current student athletes.
"The thing that blows my mind is every single time I talk to her, she's helping people that graduated 15 years ago, 10 years ago get jobs and move on and do better in life," Kordes said. "Her pure concerns for the people at the University of Louisville has never ended.
"She's such a great person to work for because all she wants to do is give you support. All she wants to do is put you in a position to have the absolute best support staff, the resources necessary to the best job you can do and to also allow for our athletes to have the most incredible resources they can. I doubt there are very many universities that have the comprehensive medical programs we have for our student athletes. That's all been put in place by Julie."
Hermann was announced as Rutgers' new athletic director on May 15th but she will not begin her tenure until next month on June 17th. As she prepares to take on that role, Kordes had one final message for the Rutgers fan base and alumni.
"I want the people at Rutgers to know what I know; which is you're getting such an experienced, incredible, successful AD. But also you are getting such a phenomenal person. She is going to put her heart and soul into the people at Rutgers. It's not about just the job for her. It's going to be about the people, building a family environment where everybody feels important. She just has an incredible way of bringing people together."