This wasn’t surprising in any sense, as Mike Rice has been relieved from his duties as head coach of Rutgers Men’s Basketball. This comes a not even day after making national headlines due to a video compilation that was aired on ESPN‘s Outside the Lines, in which Rice was taped hurling basketballs at players’ head and calling them homophobic slurs. The video caused a national outcry, with many critics calling for Rice’s firing.
Yesterday, Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti said that we wouldn’t fire Rice after viewing the OTL story but the backlash was so intense that he had to terminate Rice before matters got out of hand. Pernetti stated yesterday, “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.”Pernetti has also received backlash as well because of the seemingly “light” penalty he gave Rice in December which was a three-game suspension and a $50,000 fine.
Rice was hired in 2010 after the dismissal of Fred Hill, Rice coached Robert Morris to two NCAA tournament appearances and was brought in because of New Jersey roots. After three seasons with the team, success wasn’t high as Rice went 44-51. Rice posted just a 16-38 mark in the Big East in those three seasons.
On a positive note, hopefully all this press will bring a good, well-experienced coach to Rutgers that will actually help the men’s basketball team become a respectable force in the Big Ten in the coming years.
If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gone whoop on him afterwards! C’mon
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 2, 2013