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Sun May 26, 2013, 12:21 AM

Rutgers' new athletic director faces fresh questions about her past

Sixteen years ago, members of the University of Tennessee women's volleyball team gathered for a last meeting with their head coach, Julie Hermann. In gym shorts or jeans, some piled onto a black leather couch. Others sat on the floor, cross-legged, almost breathless.

Many of them remember Hermann standing over them, as she had at hundreds of practices and matches. For several minutes, as the players recall, she said nothing.

The players say everyone, including the athletic director, had been brought together by a letter all 15 players on the team had submitted. In it, the players said, their coach had ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse.

"The mental cruelty that we as a team have suffered is unbearable," the players wrote. Specifically, they said the coach had called them "whores, alcoholics and learning disabled."


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