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Christie Still Has Confidence In Barchi

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. April 8, 2013

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Governor Christie at Statehouse news conference (photo by Phil Gregory)

Governor Christie says the basketball scandal at Rutgers has caused significant damage to school’s reputation, but he still has confidence in the university’s president.

Christie says if he saw the videotape last November, he would have urged that basketball coach Mike Rice be fired then for abusing players.

“To me the conduct on that tape is unacceptable for any person who is supposed to be a role model and a leader for student athletes. He should have been fired in November and quite frankly should have been fired well before then because this is obviously conduct that was going on for three years.”

Christie says Rutgers President Robert Barchi should have viewed the tape sooner than last week, but that’s not Barchi‘s main responsibility.

 “He relied upon the people who worked for him and who were most expert in this topic, his lawyer and the athletic director and when he became convinced that their judgment was wrong he took appropriate action.”

The governor says he does not believe that Barchi’s conduct should necessitate his departure, and it would be a setback for the merger with UMDNJ and Rutgers’ strategic plan if he left.

“The university would be hurt drastically by the departure of Dr. Barchi and that’s why I don’t support it. I don’t think it’s necessary, and also I don’t think his conduct necessitates his departure.”

Christie says he won’t conduct his own investigation into what happened at Rutgers.

He says the people responsible have been dealt with, and it’s time to move on.

NPR

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