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Ray Rice says Tim Pernetti should stay on at Rutgers

The pitchforks are out in the wake of the Rutgers University scandal, and the next head protesters are calling for is that of athletic director Tim Pernetti.

The animosity is justified, after the AD waited until Wednesday to fire basketball coach Mike Rice; in the wake of public outrage regarding video of Rice physically and verbally abusing his players.

However, several former Rutgers football players backed Pernetti on Thursday.

Perhaps the most high-profile former Scarlet Knight, Ray Rice, told The Star-Ledger's Steve Politi that the last time he spoke with Pernetti, the AD was trying to convince him to finish his college degree. Rice said he believes Pernetti keeping his job is the best thing for the school.

"Could (Pernetti) have done more? I think so," Ray Rice said. "But this is one decision. This is a man who has done so much for Rutgers. The right guy is gone! Now we need to start the healing process."

Former Rutgers center Shaun O'Hara tweeted his overwhelming support for Pernetti:

Eric LeGrand, the paralyzed former Rutgers defensive lineman, also tweeted that he believes Pernetti's character should outweigh his oversight in this unfortunate situation.

"When you're in a situation like I have been for the past 2 1/2 years, you truly see the character of people. Tim Pernetti has shown me and Rutgers how great of a person he really is, and how much he really cares."

While it might not save Pernetti from getting the ax, it's clear he has support from some of the school's most credible sports personalities.

UPDATE: Pernetti resigned from Rutgers on Friday.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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