Rutgers basketball coach, Mike Rice, was fired on Wednesday after a very disturbing video showing him abusing his basketball players aired on ESPN.  In the video Rice uses racist slurs and physically assaults his players.

Accordng to CNN News, the video features excerpts of practice sessions shot between 2010 and 2012.  As a result of this video, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti suspended Rice for three games last year, fined him $50,000 and made him attend anger management classes.  However, it seems like Pernetti regrets his decision of merely suspending Rice.  CNN cites Pernettis written statement regarding his decision stating, "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.”

Pernetti’s primary job should be to protect the players from an abusive coach, not to cover up Rice’s wrongdoings for the sake of the school’s name.  Pernetti and Rutgers President, Robert L. Barchi, were aware of the video for months but did not fire him until they received public backlash.  That is unacceptable.  In my opinion, their decision to merely suspend and not fire Rice last year should be reviewed.  Perhaps Rutgers needs to fire a few more employees and start fresh.

Abusive Remarks and Behaviors Displayed by Rice in the Video:

  • Threw basketballs at players
  • Shoved player in the back
  • Kicked a player
  • Frequently berated players
  • Physically put his hands on players
  • Fired balls at players from point-blank
  • Verbally abused players
  • Called a player a “f**king fairy” and “f**king fa**ot"
  • Used homophobic and racial slurs during practice
  • Grabbed players by their jerseys and yanked them around the court

I agree with Murdock, an ex-NBA player and a former director of player development for the Scarlet Knights, that it was a “total shock that this guy wasn't fired, immediately on the spot.”

What I can't wrap my head around is why it took Rutgers this long to fire Rice.  No employer should allow this sort of employee behavior, and basketball coaches are no exception.  According to sources, they were aware of his abusive behavior for months now.  Why did they let him continue to berate his players for this long?  Should the school be held accountable for Rice’s Actions?  What are your thoughts?

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