Rutgers University's athletic director has told a class that it would be "great" if New Jersey's largest newspaper went out of business.

The university says Julie Hermann's remarks to a media ethics and law class in February came before she knew about deep layoffs that were announced at The Star-Ledger last week.

The Star-Ledger reported on her remarks Monday, citing a recording provided by a student.

In a statement, Rutgers says her statements were "intended to give the students some understanding of the challenges she has faced" and were not expected to be made public.

The Newark newspaper was the first to report in May after Hermann was hired that she was accused of being verbally and emotionally abusive to volleyball players she coached at Tennessee in 1996. It also ran an editorial in January that critisized her handling of Jevon Tyree's allegation that he was bullied by a Rutgers' coach.