Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach Mike Rice - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach Mike Rice

Photo: AP Photo: AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (CBS News) - Rutgers has fired basketball coach Mike Rice after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing, and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs during practice.

The videotape, broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, has prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie. The head of the New Jersey Assembly called for Rice to be fired.

 

With mounting criticism on a state and national level, the school decided to take action on Wednesday, relieving Rice of his duties after three largely unsuccessful seasons at the Big East school. There will be a national search to replace him. 

 

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in November. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, he suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000.

"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice," 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 video shows Rice manhandling members of the Rutgers basketball team, throwing balls at players, and shouting gay slurs. Andy Staples, senior writer of Sports Illustrated, said of that kind of conduct, "You don't do that. You cannot do that. That may have been OK in 1950. It is not OK in 2013."

In December, Rice was suspended for three games and fined $50,000. Pernetti said in a radio interview, "All that behavior was unacceptable and whether you do it once or a hundred times, one time is too many. He knew exactly what he screwed up and what he did wrong."

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