What does it take for leaders to make really tough decisions?

I’ve been following with great interest what happened at Rutgers University after the video clip of their basketball coach received so much attention.  The whole thing is pretty sad on several rutgerscoachdifferent fronts.  However, it is also rich with “teachable moments,” for coaches and others who are in positions of trust and leadership. 

In this case, one leader, at one level, with the same knowledge (the video), decided not to fire the coach…but he made that decision when it appeared nobody else was looking.  Soon afterwards, another leader at the very same university, with the very same knowledge (the video) made a very different decision.  He fired the coach and “encouraged” the AD to resign—which is just a fancy way of saying “fired.”  However, he did so when everyone was looking. 

What’s the character lesson in all of this?