Posted April 03, 2013

Rutgers coach Mike Rice fired

Update, 12:50 p.m. EST:  University president Robert Barchi issued a statement Wednesday that said, in part: “Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior. I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability.”

As The Star-Ledger‘s Steve Politi wrote, this statement appears to contradict Pernetti’s statement that Barchi had seen the evidence in December.

Original Story: Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice has been fired, an athletics department spokesman announced on Twitter.

Yesterday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines aired a video that showed Rice physically and verbally abusing his players. (See the video above).

Shortly after the news was announced, Rice addressed his firing in an interview posted by ABC. He called his actions “deeply regrettable.”

“Can’t say anything right now, except, I’m sorry,” he said in the interview. “…I’ve let so many people down. My players, the administration, Rutgers University, the fans, my family who’s sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them. It’s troubling, but at some time, maybe I’ll try to explain it. But right now, there’s no explanation for what’s on those films because there is no excuse for it. I was wrong.”

Late last year, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti saw video that showed Rice throwing basketballs at players, kicking a player and using a slur at a player. The school suspended Rice for three games.

[Andy Staples: Rice's abuse casts shadow over all of Rutgers athletics]

When the video came to light yesterday, reaction was harsh, with sportswriters and athletes speaking out against Rice’s actions and calling for his firing.

Among NBA players who spoke out on Twitter were LeBron James and Jared Sullinger. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s spokesman also made a statement about the video.

From USA Today

“Governor Christie saw the video today for the first time and he is obviously deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak told reporters Tuesday. “It’s not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University.”

Some writers, including USA TODAY‘s Dan Shanoff, have argued Pernetti should also be fired for failing to fire Rice when university officials first saw the tape.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy tweeted two quotes from Pernetti moments after the university announced Rice’s firing.

 


11 comments
Dre1
Dre1

Let's be honest. Anybody who has ever played sports has seen this kind of behavior. While I don't agree with all of the methods show here, I definately cant say that this practice is uncommon. That, I think, is why Pernetti's initial reaction was so relaxed. Again, I don not agree with all of the methods shown here. I am just saying that it is not as uncommon as people think. More than half of the coaches of any sport could be fired if that were so. Even the former NBA who is sitting there saying he is surprised.

joeshine730
joeshine730

The AD has to go. Pernetti let this fester too long.

BoChosen
BoChosen

Any Rutgers official who had prior knowledge of this matter, aided in concealing this heinous situation, and/or justified these actions, needs to be fired immediately (AD, Chancellor, Board of Trustees, etc...).  Rice and Pernetti should be gone without a thought! 

Cool
Cool

Too late Pernetti, you have lost all credibility and should do the right thing and resign.  What kind of m0r0n looks at a tape like the one shown and says.. aww, that ain't so bad, just take a couple days off to cool down coach?

BoChosen
BoChosen

 @Dre1

 I couldn't disagree with you more.  I've played 3 sports through high school and baseball clear up to the majors and have NEVER seen this type of behavior.  Anyone who has dealt with this or witnessed this behavior is clearly in a minority.

Dre1
Dre1

 @BoChosen

 I do not doubt your personal experience. I too played 3 sports... in mor than one state... and one of them professionally. I have observed other ppls practices. This "IS" a common practice. The only time I have not seen this is when kids are taught that everbody wins and everbody gets a trophy.

Dre1
Dre1

 @BoChosen

 I did say not all of these things were normal, but this would be news regardless because of the wolrd we live in always looking for the bad in things. Even the football reference you made would be blown up by these perfect world ppl.

BoChosen
BoChosen

 @Dre1  @BoChosen

I mean no disrespect and can appreciate your walk with sports as well...  Having said that, you mean to tell me you've witnessed balls being whipped at point blank range, gay slurs, kicking a player while engaged, irately grabbing & driving a player while nose to nose, a staff member feeding balls knowing the "loose cannon" is ready to reload and hurl again and again, and consistant verbal berating and badgering of any or every player... on a DAILY basis???  This is not common fam.  If it was commonplace, then it wouldn't be a story and certainly he wouldn't wait to do it when the AD left the facility.  In football, it's common to yell at the player and possibly grab his facemask while screaming, bench someone, have the player run 'til he drops, and browbeat... Abuse on all levels???  Absolutely not common.   And, no... I haven't played where everyone wins and gets a trophy since Tee Ball.