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Advocacy group calls for Rutgers to reconsider Schiano hiring

Greg Schiano, the University’s former football head coach, needs to be recommended by a four-person athletics committee to be approved for rehire. – Photo by The Daily Targum

The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) has spoken out against the rehiring of former football head coach Greg Schiano due to his alleged connection to the Pennsylvania State University sexual abuse scandal, according to an article from NJ Advance Media

Schiano, who coached football at the Pennsylvania State University between 1990-95, was accused of knowing about the sexual abuse against players committed by fellow coach Jerry Sandusky. These allegations came to light in 2016 when a deposition from Mike McQueary, another former coach, was made public, according to the article. 

McQueary testified that Tom Bradley, another coach, told him that Schiano once disclosed that he witnessed Sandusky “doing something” with a boy in the shower, but had never spoken about it again, according to the article. Schiano and Bradley both denied knowing about the abuse. 

Despite his denial, the accusations against Schiano have followed him. Two years ago, Schiano was offered a coaching position at the University of Tennessee, but it was quickly revoked due to protests from fans, donors and state officials, according to the article.

Even if Schiano did not know about the abuse, his actions show he does not have the ability to properly monitor his players, Executive Director of the NJCASA Patricia Teffenhart said, according to the article.

“He was negligent,” Teffenhart said, according to the article. “He had a responsibility as a member of the coaching staff to be aware of the conditions his students were (exposed) to.”

NJCASA works with the Rutgers Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance program, and Teffenhart said the University has been expanding its resources for victims. She told NJ Advance Media that hiring Schiano could risk the school’s reputation of being a leader in sexual assault awareness. 

“This seems to be a direct contradiction to the investments they made in victims and victims services,” Teffenhart said. 

University spokesperson Dory Devlin told NJ Advance Media that there was still no decision on who would become the next football head coach.

“Rutgers is committed to hiring the best football coach for our student-athletes, our University and our broader community. An active search is currently underway and we will not comment on any of the potential candidates during the search process,” Devlin said, according to the article. “Any successful candidate as the next football coach will undergo a thorough and exhaustive background check.”

Rutgers can easily find a different candidate to take the job, Teffenhart said according to the article.

“I find it really hard to believe that Rutgers can’t identify someone who has the right professional experience and the right moral clarity to serve in the highest taxpayer-funded position in New Jersey,” she said according to the article. 

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