Rutgers Coach Fired After Video Showed Abusive Behavior

Mike Rice, the men’s basketball coach at Rutgers University who was shown hurling insults and balls at his players in a video that quickly went viral, was fired Wednesday by the school.

“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti said in a statement. “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.”

The athletic department announced the firing in a tweet as well:

The university had initially suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 in December. But a fierce public backlash ensued after the video, in which Rice directed homophobic and profane insults at his players during a practice, was broadcast Tuesday on ESPN. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Miami Heat superstar LeBron James each levied sharp criticism at the coach.

Watch the video:

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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