Sixty percent of New Jerseyans who have been following the Rutgers
University firing of basketball coach Mike Rice believe he was not
fired earlier because the school was close to completing its deal to
move into the Big Ten Conference.
The poll was based on random phone calls to landlines and cellphones
of 1,045 people throughout New Jersey, with a 3.0% margin of error. Of
those, 720 said they were following the story at least somewhat, and
the findings are based on those respondents, with a margin of error of
47% felt it was appropriate for Athletic Director Tim Pernetti to
resign because of his role in the controversy, with 34% answering no to
resignation. The respondents also placed the most blame for the
handling of the situation on Pernetti, who 38% called most responsible.
University President Robert Barchi was named most responsible by 24%
and the school’s attorney, John Wolf, by 11%. But 48% felt that Barchi
should be held responsible for his initial decision to suspend Rice and
should be fired for it.
63% felt Rice should have been fired when the evidence found on the
videotape first came to light.
"It was a complex issue, and the responses showed that," noted Rick
Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey
Asked if they were surprised that Governor Chris Christie did not
call for the ouster of President Barchi, 65% said no, and only 22% said
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