McCourty voices support for ex-Rutgers AD

CRANSTON, R.I. -- Former Rutgers cornerback and current New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty continued to show support on Monday for former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti, who resigned last week.

"It was just such a shock. ... Just to see all that transpire, it really hurt," McCourty said. "I just wanted him to know that we fully supported him."

McCourty had been outspoken about Pernetti's ouster on Twitter, calling him a "scapegoat" for the school's failure to fire coach Mike Rice when allegations first surfaced last year of physical and verbal abuse toward his players.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi has also come under fire for his role in Rice's continued employment.

"So RU made Pernetti resign but they are going to keep this clown as president," McCourty tweeted last week. "He still hasn't taken ownership in his role."

Speaking to reporters after reading to children at Arlington Elementary School, McCourty said he respected Pernetti's decision to resign.

"He took the fall by resigning and put it all on him and it was for the betterment for the university," McCourty said Monday.

McCourty was a first-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2010 after his career at Rutgers. Another former Scarlet Knight in the NFL, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, has also publicly supported Pernetti.

"I thought he did an amazing job when he got to Rutgers," McCourty said of Pernetti. "He would reach out to all the former athletes and get us back to do different events, and not just in football."