Rutgers coach Mike Rice was fired today after a video showing him screaming at his players went public earlier this week.
The University made the announcement today on Twitter, writing: “Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice.”
According to the NY Times, Rice was suspended for three games and fined $50,000 earlier this year. When the video surfaced this week many people wondered why Rutgers didn’t immediately fire Rice. Athletic director Tim Pernetti said that he was responsible for the decision to keep Rice on staff, saying that he thought it was best to give Rice a chance at redemption.
Pernetti said: “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.”
Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi issued a statement saying that Mike Rice’s actions violated the “university’s core values.”
Barchi said: “Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation’s most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values.”
Here’s a video about Rice’s unique coaching style. Do you think Rutgers made the right decision by firing Mike Rice?
Barchi went on to explain why the university decided to suspend Rice instead of fire him when they first found out about his abusive practices.
Barchi said: “When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel. The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator’s findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored.”
Rice’s termination could help Eric Murdock, the school’s former director of player development, who is currently suing the school for wrongful termination. Murdock said that he was fired by Rice last July after he told the school about how practices were being run.
Murdock’s lawyer said: “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.”