Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach Mike Rice After Video Abusing Players Surfaces
After video footage (below) surfaced showing numerous clips of him hurling basketballs at players, grabbing them by their jerseys, yanking them around the court, yelling obscenities, and using gay slurs; Rutgers has fired head basketball coach Mike Rice.
Rice, in his third season at Rutgers, was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes three months ago; after athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the tape by a former employee back in November. Earlier today, the university made the decision to terminate Rice after receiving "new information" and "a review of previously discovered issues."
Rice addressed reporters outside his home earlier today in Little Silver, N.J., apologizing for his actions:
I've let so many people down: my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who's sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact 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. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I've caused.
The video was made by Eric Murdock, a former NBA player hired by Rice to be director of player development. After Rice and Murdock had a falling out, the video was put together to showcase the abuse from Rice throughout his first three years as Rutgers' head basketball coach.
Pernetti was also apologetic, saying that he took responsibility for trying to rehabilitate Rice instead of firing him back in December after he felt the head coach was "remorseful" for his actions.