Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice has been caught on video physically and verbally abusing his players during practice. The footage got Rice suspended for a number of games this season, and now has people wondering if he should be fired.
The video of Mike Rice’s abusive treatment shows footage from 2010-2012. Rice was suspended for three games in December after 30 minutes of the footage was shown to Rutgers‘ athletic director Tim Pernetti. He was also fined $50,000.
ESPN’s Outside The Lines obtained hours of video of Rice’s behavior and aired it during a segment on Tuesday. Rice can be seen pushing players, throwing basketball’s at their heads and calling them a number of slurs including “fa–ots,” “c—-,” “pu–ies,” “sissy b-tches,” and “mother—-ers.”
At the time of Mike Rice’s suspension, Pernetti cited, “inappropriate behavior and language,” as the reasoning. He did not go into further detail. The release of the video shows exactly what he meant.
Mike Rice’s abusive treatment of players was brought to the attention of Pernetti by Eric Murdock. Murdock served as Rutgers director of player development before being fired by Rice last July. He plans to sue the university for wrongful termination. His lawyer, Raj Gadhok said in statement Tuesday:
“Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice. As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University.”
Murdock told Outside The Lines that Mike Rice’s abusive treatment deeply affected players:
“There were some players who couldn’t sleep at night, who wasn’t eating, who didn’t want to come to the gym.”
Here is the video:
The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Mike Rice will be fired by Rutgers now. While only thirty minutes of footage was shown to Pernetti originally, there are hours of footage showing the coaches abusive behavior.
Pernetti, who was interviewed by Outside The Lines, said Rice’s behavior was appropriately treated as a “first offense” by the university. Now that the video has gone public it will interesting to see how Rutgers handles the situation. With news of the university’s football programs’s move into the Big 10, the last thing it needs is bad publicity.
Do you think Mike Rice should be fired for his abusive treatment of Rutgers’ players?