PISCATAWAY — Rutgers held its Scarlet-White spring football game, and raised money for those still in need after being victimized by Superstorm Sandy in October.
But that wasn’t the only event on campus Saturday as supporters of fired athletic director Tim Pernetti held a rally to re-instate him. Pernetti and basketball coach Mike Rice were dismissed after videos of Rice physically and verbally abusing players were revealed. Rice had been suspended in December for three games by Pernetti when the video were first presented to the athletic director.
After ESPN showed them last month, the public outrage led to both Rice and Pernetti, a Rutgers alum, being ousted.
Eddie Jordan, a guard on the 1976 Rutgers Final Four team, was hired as the new men’s basketball coach this week. The university is still doing a search to replace Pernetti, who helped get Rutgers into the Big Ten.
“It was a pretty good turnout (at the rally for Pernetti), considering it was Rutgers Day,” said Piscataway native Ken Forberger, wearing an “In Tim We Trust” T-shirt. “I went to hear what they had to say. The actual report from the university on this is going to be released to the public and the group (for Pernetti) are going to try and have Pernetti reinstated, based on what is in that report.
“I still have a lot of pride in Rutgers,” Forberger said.
In the football game that benefited the shore towns victimized by Sandy, the Scarlet squad won handily, 57-19. Gary Nova threw for 222 yards and three TDs. Rutgers coach, Kyle Flood, reiterated his support for Nova, who had a rough end to the 2012 season when the Scarlet Knights lost their final three games.
“I just want to try and get better every day,” Nova said. “I knew there were some things I had to improve and I think I accomplished that. I just have to build off of that. I think I improved on understanding the offense. I’m going to work hard in the summer and get on the same page with the receivers. The way I ended the season last year was not a good feeling. I was hungry to come out here and do whatever I needed to do to be a quarterback for this team.”