Rutgers Men’s Basketball Coach Fired After Abuse Scandal

Posted: April 3, 2013 in Sports News
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There’s nothing like finishing up my workout this morning to look at my phone and see a breaking news update that Mike Rice was fired. The Rutgers men’s basketball coach was terminated this morning after an ESPN broadcast showing him physically and verbally abusing players on the team.

The video features excerpts from practice sessions between the 2010 and 2012 seasons, and initially resulted in Rice obtaining a three-game suspension, $75,000 fine and he had to go to anger management classes. But Athletic Director Tim Pernetti received much pressure and backlash from state officials and decided to ultimately fire Rice.

 

According to a CNN article, Pernetti said in a written statement,

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 interests of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.

The video was originally obtained by ESPN through former NBA player Eric Murdock, Rutgers former player development director. Murdock told ESPN the school fired him for releasing the information on Rice, but Rutgers maintains that he was let go for “insubordinate conduct” unrelated to the abusive video.

In the video, Rice is seen physically abusing players by pushing, shoving, kicking and throwing basketballs at their knees and heads. He also yelled extreme slanders at the players, calling them inappropriate names including homophobic slurs.

Rice had just ended his third year as head basketball coach with an overall record of 44-51. He was contracted to continue coaching the 2014-2015 season before being fired. Under his time as head coach, he led the team to the NCAA basketball tournament two times.

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