Just a day after video of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice showed him yelling gay slurs and throwing basketballs at his players, the university announced Rice would be fired.
Athletic Director Tim Pernetti had suspended Rice earlier in the season for then-undisclosed actions. As it turns out, the actions were much worse than the typical coach getting in the face of a player ordeal.
Pernetti told reporters that he would be considering the right action to take following the release of the video and the corresponding public outrage over Rice’s actions, including from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice. Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community,” said Pernetti.
The question here: How was Rice not fired immediately after his treatment of players became known to the university the first time, and should there be more heads on the chopping block besides Rice?
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Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice is facing punishment from his school’s athletic department after tapes of him berating and getting physical with his players surfaced recently.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” aired footage of Rutgers basketball practices that show some of Rice’s antics, just part of a half hour of footage that the university is reviewing.
The video highlights include Rice yelling gay slurs at players, throwing basketballs at their heads and pushing them around.
Rice was suspended for three games in December by Rutgers for his exploits, though no specifics of his treatment of players was mentioned. The specifics are out now and they speak volumes.
“I think now that [the videotape] is out there — we knew it was going to get out there. The reaction — we knew what it was going to be. I need to sit here and think about what gives us the ability to be effective going forward in men’s basketball, and more importantly, what protects the university,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti.
“There’s a lot of things on my mind right now that I’m thinking through and trying to make sure that whatever decisions I make on a going-forward basis, that we try to make the right one,” he added.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and NBA star LeBron James are two of the many who have already spoken out against Rice’s coaching style and abuse of his players.