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Rutgers cleans house by firing football coach, AD Hermann

Rutgers cleans house by firing football coach, AD Hermann

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers fired football coach Kyle Flood and Athletic Director Julie Hermann on Sunday, stripping the athletic department of its most prominent employees after a season that was a failure on and off the field.

University President Robert Barchi announced that Patrick Hobbs, dean emeritus of the Seton Hall University School of Law, will take over for Hermann, who is from Nebraska City and was an All-Big Eight volleyball player at Nebraska in 1984. Barchi decided last week to make a change in leadership, he said in a statement, and told the football team of the change about 2 p.m. Sunday. As players left the team meeting room about 45 minutes later, everyone declined to comment except senior linebacker Quentin Gause, a team captain.

"Just business decisions," Gause said was the message from Barchi. "Everyone cares for Flood, but decisions have to be made."

The reaction in the room was silence, Gause said, and Barchi provided no other details about the Flood decision or what would happen to the assistant coaches. Assistant head coach Norries Wilson will be interim coach.

The Scarlet Knights finished 4-8 after blowing a big lead to Maryland on Saturday, a game that was not even close to being the worst of the team's embarrassments this season.

Flood was suspended for three games for making inappropriate contact with a professor regarding a player's academics. Also, seven players have been arrested since August, though charges were dropped against star receiver Leontee Carroo.

Flood was 27-24 in four seasons at Rutgers, including bowl appearances in his first three. He was given a two-year contract extension at the beginning of the 2014 season that runs through the 2018 season and made $1.26 million this year, according to USA Today's coaches' salary database. Among Big Ten coaches, the only one who made less was Illinois' Bill Cubit, who was interim coach until getting a two-year deal on Saturday.

The next AD, Hobbs, did a stint as Seton Hall's AD and was initially targeted to be an interim replacement for Hermann, but Barchi said Rutgers decided to offer him the job permanently Friday.

Hermann took over in 2013 and came from Louisville, where she was an associate AD. She walked into a reeling athletic department, which sawMike Rice get fired for physically and verbally abusing his players. And Tim Pernetti, the AD who helped land Rutgers a spot in the Big Ten, had been let go for only suspending Rice when a video of Rice's actions was first brought to him.

But Hermann brought her own baggage. She had been accused of verbally abusing players when she was volleyball coach at Tennessee and was named in a discrimination lawsuit there.

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