Rutgers Fires Coach Mike Rice Amid Outrage For Video - New York News

Rutgers Fires Coach Mike Rice Over Gay Slurs

Posted: Updated:
Newark, NJ -

(FOX 11 / FOX Sports / AP) Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs during practice.

Sports stars tweet disgust over actions of Rutgers coach.

The videotape, broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, prompted sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie, and the head of the New Jersey Assembly called for Rice to be fired.

With mounting criticism on a state and national level, the school decided to take action, relieving Rice of his duties after three largely unsuccessful seasons at the Big East school. There will be a national search to replace him.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a former employee. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, he suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi saw the tape and signed off on the initial punishment.

But in a Wednesday email, Rutgers referred to new information and ''a review of previously discovered issues'' as the reasons for Rice's termination.

''I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,'' Pernetti said. ''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.''

Rice, who helped Robert Morris to two NCAA tournament appearances, was one of the hot coaching candidates in the spring of 2010. He interviewed with Fordham, where he played as a guard, only to not get the chance to return to his alma mater. Eventually, there was a difference in opinion in the school's search committee, and Rice's fiery, in-game behavior was a sticking point.

But Rutgers, and Pernetti, took a chance on him not long after that. The Scarlet Knights had an opening because of the unexpected dismissal of Fred Hill, Jr., and Rice, who has strong New Jersey recruiting roots, seemed like a fit.

But he wasn't able to push Rutgers into the upper echelon of the conference, and went just 44-51 at Rutgers. Rice posted just a 16-38 mark in the Big East, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16 this season and 5-13 in the league.

But his success - or lack thereof - on the court is all secondary now. The school is no longer dealing with an issue of wins and losses, but of right and wrong.

In an interview with WFAN Radio in New York on Tuesday, Pernetti confirmed that Barchi viewed the tape last fall and agreed with the punishment. But ESPN's broadcast prompted an outcry, led by the governor himself.

''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,'' spokesman Michael Drewniak said. ''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.''

The video shows numerous clips of Rice at practice firing basketballs at players, hitting them in the back, legs, feet and shoulders. Rice was also shown pushing players in the chest and grabbing them by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice could be heard yelling obscenities at players and using gay slurs.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) called Rice's conduct ''unacceptable not only at our state university, but in all circumstances. It is offensive and unbecoming of our state.''

''Mike Rice should no longer be employed by Rutgers University,'' Oliver said. ''He must go. Meanwhile, the decision not to dismiss him last year needs a complete and thorough review.''

After landing the position in 2010, Rice moved his family from Pittsburgh to Little Silver, N.J. He quickly became part of the fabric of that community, often attending church functions and youth games that his children played in. But on the practice floor, some 30 miles away, obviously, a different person surfaced.

 

Fox Sports & The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Officials: Piece of jet fell onto Long Island yard

    Officials: Piece of jet fell onto Long Island yard

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-08-23 18:33:40 GMT
    Authorities are trying to figure out how if a metal part from a jet airliner fell out of the sky and landed in a Long Island yard.
    Authorities are trying to figure out how if a metal part from a jet airliner fell out of the sky and landed in a Long Island yard.
  • Thousands march in Staten Island to honor Eric Garner, Michael Brown

    Thousands march in Staten Island to honor Eric Garner, Michael Brown

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:35 PM EDT2014-08-23 17:35:39 GMT
    Thousands of protesters packed in cars and caravans, crossed over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner, the man who died last month after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer.
    Thousands of protesters packed in cars and caravans, crossed over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner, the man who died last month after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer.
  • Police: 5 suspects wanted in Central Park attack

    Police: 5 suspects wanted in Central Park attack

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-08-23 16:27:52 GMT
    Police are looking for five suspects in a Central Park pellet attack they're investigating as a hate crime.
    Police are looking for five suspects in a Central Park pellet attack they're investigating as a hate crime.
  • Share ThisMore>>

  • Can A Guy With Horns, Tattoos Get A Fair Trial? Lawyer Doesn't Think So

    Can A Guy With Horns, Tattoos Get A Fair Trial? Lawyer Doesn't Think So

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:35:57 GMT
    The lawyer for a man charged with murder for his alleged role in the slayings of three Berkshire County men says he's concerned his client's “unique appearance” will prevent selection of impartial jurors.
    The lawyer for a man charged with murder for his alleged role in the slayings of three Berkshire County men says he's concerned his client's “unique appearance” will prevent selection of impartial jurors.
  • "Apparently" This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

    "Apparently" This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:24 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:24:45 GMT
    “Apparently” this kid should have a future in the news business and his You Tube Video has gone viral with more than 14 million views!
    “Apparently” this kid should have a future in the news business and his You Tube Video has gone viral with more than 14 million views!
  • FOUND: AMBER ALERT 4-Year-Old Boy Abducted & Suspect Angel Jacoba Schat

    FOUND: AMBER ALERT 4-Year-Old Boy Abducted & Suspect Angel Jacoba Schat

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:31:04 GMT
    On August 19, 2014, at 10:00 pm, Sjon Singleton was abducted from Bishop, CA. Sjon singleton is a 4-year-old, light-skinned black male, 3 feet tall, 35 pound, juvenile with black hair, and brown eyes, unknown clothing .Suspect is Angel Jacoba Schat, a 43year-old, white, female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes.
    On August 19, 2014, at 10:00 pm, Sjon Singleton was abducted from Bishop, CA. Sjon singleton is a 4-year-old, light-skinned black male, 3 feet tall, 35 pound, juvenile with black hair, and brown eyes, unknown clothing .Suspect is Angel Jacoba Schat, a 43year-old, white, female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes.
  • Dodger TV

    Dodger TV

    Saturday, July 19 2014 12:19 AM EDT2014-07-19 04:19:25 GMT
    The Dodgers may be in first place in the NL West, but most of the die hard fans haven't seen the action. The Time Warner Cable deal that's kept fans in the dark this season stretches on as the Dodgers make a play for the pennant.
    The Dodgers may be in first place in the NL West, but most of the die hard fans haven't seen the action. The Time Warner Cable deal that's kept fans in the dark this season stretches on as the Dodgers make a play for the pennant.
  • Kobe Wants Carmelo Anthony to Join Lakers

    Kobe Wants Carmelo Anthony to Join Lakers

    Thursday, July 10 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-07-10 04:27:51 GMT
    Kobe Bryant is hoping to go with Plan A, make that, Plan Melo. At his 8th annual basketball academy for kids, Kobe met with the media to answer questions about the future of the Lakers. Kobe is hoping his friend Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Lakers.
    Kobe Bryant is hoping to go with Plan A, make that, Plan Melo. At his 8th annual basketball academy for kids, Kobe met with the media to answer questions about the future of the Lakers. Kobe is hoping his friend Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Lakers.
  • LA KINGS & KIDS: Big Dreams!

    LA KINGS & KIDS: Big Dreams!

    Monday, June 16 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-06-16 16:12:24 GMT
    What does a 7-year-old hockey player and a pro in the National Hockey League have in common? To listen to the President of the LA Kings,Luc Robitaille, it's dreams and desire. Robitaille says when most players were kids they had big dreams of being in the NHL some day just like Oliver Morris.
    What does a 7-year-old hockey player and a pro in the National Hockey League have in common? To listen to the President of the LA Kings,Luc Robitaille, it's dreams and desire. Robitaille says when most players were kids they had big dreams of being in the NHL some day just like Oliver Morris.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices