(CBS) Rutgers will be joining the Big Ten at the start of the next academic year, a move that one of the nation’s premier conferences saw as an opportunity to expand its brand into the New York market.
That’s all well and good, but with it comes an athletic department that is directed by a leader who could be described as somewhere between embattled and a train wreck.
Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann — who has received plenty of criticism in her 10-plus months on the job for various mishaps — reportedly told a college journalism class that she hopes the Newark, N.J.-based Star-Ledger newspaper goes out of business.
“If they’re not writing headlines that are getting our attention, they’re not selling ads – and they die,” Hermann told the Media Ethics and Law class. “And the Ledger almost died in June, right?”
“They might die again next month,” a student said.
“That would be great,” she replied. “I’m going to do all I can to not give them a headline to keep them alive.”
Practically speaking, this doesn’t affect much, but it’s the latest in a string of PR nightmares for Hermann that shows she is, at the least, out of touch with all the responsibilities her job entails.
More from Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi:
What matters is this: The Star-Ledger employs a lot of people. And if the Rutgers athletic director thinks it would be great if it closed down, then she relishes the idea of seeing those people lose their livelihood, their benefits and maybe more.