It just keeps getting worse for Rutgers and newly appointed athletic director Julie Hermann.
Hermann, still dealing with the backlash from her rocky tenure as Tennessee's volleyball coach, is at the center of another lawsuit, filed while she served as a Louisville administrator. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Hermann had been named in a sexual discrimination suit filed by Mary Banker, a former Louisville assistant track and field coach.
According to the legal filings obtained by The Times, Hermann initially was supportive of Banker after hearing of her complaints. In an email to Banker, Hermann wrote: "Thank you ... We're lucky to have you ... You're a change agent ... don't let their limitations take you out of the game ... thank god you're here."
According to a filing, Hermann expressed concern after Banker went to HR with her complaints about [head coach Ron] Mann.
"Hermann called Banker into her office and flat-out told her, 'You should not have gone to HR,'" the filing states, adding that Hermann allegedly told Banker: "I don't know how I'm going to restore trust in you amongst staff now," and "I don't know how you're going to work downstairs after this."
The Times reported that Banker sued the University of Louisville Athletic Association after she was fired, claiming Hermann was largely responsible for her dismissal. A jury awarded Banker $300,000, although a Kentucky appeals court overturned the verdict.
Rutgers says Hermann discussed Banker's lawsuit with its search committee and legal counsel.