Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 3, 2013

Following video release, Rutgers fires men’s basketball coach

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Fueled by outrage from even the governor when the video went public, Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after deciding it didn't go far enough by suspending and fining him for shoving, kicking and throwing balls at players along with spewing gay slurs.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the tape by a former employee in November and, after an independent investigator was hired to review it, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi signed off on the penalty.

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

“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior,” Barchi said in a statement. “I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach 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. It also shows him grabbing players by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice can also be heard yelling obscenities and using gay slurs.

Rice, in his third season with the Scarlet Knights, addressed reporters outside his home in Little Silver, N.J., and apologized for his actions:

“As I stated three months ago after I watched the video how deeply regrettable those actions (were). I also stated I was going to try to work on changing. I think I've accomplished a lot of that," Rice said. “I can't say anything right now except I'm sorry and there will never be a time where I'm going to use any of that as an excuse or there will be any excuse.

“I've let so many people down: my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who's sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact their father was an embarrassment to them. It's troubling, but at some time maybe I'll try to explain it. But right now there's no explanation for what's on those films. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I've caused.”

Gov. Chris Christie, who said he was appalled when he saw the video on Tuesday, supported the firing at the state's flagship public university.

“This was a regrettable episode for the university, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice," he said in a statement. "It was the right and necessary action to take in light of the conduct displayed on the videotape.

Rice, who helped Robert Morris to two NCAA tournament appearances, but was just 44-51 in three years with Rutgers, including a 16-38 record in Big East play.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140415-LHSSoccer5.jpg Another step closer

    Vikettes blank Wildcats 6-0, while Vikings win 4-1

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Former Blazers participate in Falcons’ workouts

    Former Valdosta State wide receivers Regginald Lewis and Seantavius Jones took part Tuesday in "local day" workout in Atlanta

    April 16, 2014

  • VSU_Calhoun.jpg VSU’s Calhoun recognized after no-hitter

    Caitlyn Calhoun named Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More