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:
Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice.
— Rutgers Athletics (@RUAthletics) April 3, 2013
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.
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