Fueled by outrage from even the governor when the video went public, Rutgers fired men's basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after deciding...
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Fueled by outrage from even the governor when the video went public, Rutgers fired men’s 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.”
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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:
“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, supported the firing at New Jersey’s flagship public university.
Rice, who helped Robert Morris to two NCAA tournament appearances, was one of the hot coaching candidates in the spring of 2010. But he wasn’t able to push Rutgers into the upper echelon of the Big East Conference and went 44-51. Rice was 16-38 in the Big East, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16 this season and 5-13 in the league.
The video was made by Eric Murdock, a former NBA player who was hired by Rice to be director of player development. The two had a falling out over Murdock’s appearances at a camp.
Ex-Rainier Beach star leaving Kansas
Kansas freshman Anrio Adams has been granted a release to transfer to another school in what Jayhawks coach Bill Self characterized as an amicable parting of ways.
The talented swingman from Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School played in 24 games last season, averaging 3.5 minutes and scoring just 27 points. But Adams generated more buzz away from the court, where he once used Twitter to express his frustration over a lack of playing time.
Adams was stuck deep on the depth chart behind senior guards Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford and redshirt freshman Ben McLemore, a second-team All-American.
“Anrio is a very talented kid. We’ve enjoyed him being here,” Self said. “He was a good teammate, and I know frustration can set in when you don’t play a lot, but he kept a good attitude and we should all support him in whatever decision he makes.”
Adams has not indicated where he intends to transfer.
“I feel like going home and playing closer is better for me and my family,” he said. “This was definitely a family decision, and it was a decision I wanted to do.”
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• Former NBA coach and player Reggie Theus will take over the men’s team at Cal State Northridge.
• Boise State and men’s coach Leon Rice have agreed to a two-year extension.
• Jimmy Patsos was introduced as the Siena men’s coach.
• Julie Rousseau resigned as the Pepperdine women’s coach after nine seasons.
• Pac-12 Player of the Year and leading scorer Allen Crabbe will forgo his senior season at California and enter the NBA draft.
• Texas A&M junior center Kelsey Bone will skip her senior year and enter the WNBA draft.