UPDATE: Rutgers finally fired coach Rice yesterday. But what new evidence was there yesterday that they didn’t have back in December when they only suspended him a few games? Should athletic director Tim Pernetti be next?
EARLIER: Shades of Bobby Knight?
Of course, generic college coaching is a tough, high pressure job and at times you’d have to be a saint NOT to curse at, or want to punch one of your own players who does something stupid? But to do it repeatedly as part of your coaching style?
That’s the accusation against Rutger’s men’s basketball coach Mike Rice by ESPN’s Outside the Lines . . . and they have the video to back it up. More on the story after the video.
According to ESPN:
The video shows practices from 2010-12. About 30 minutes of the video was viewed in December by athletic director Tim Pernetti, who suspended Rice for three games that month and fined him $50,000. But the incidents in the videos obtained by “Outside the Lines” appear to go beyond Pernetti’s description at the time, when he cited “inappropriate behavior and language” between Rice and his players. When he announced the suspension on Dec. 13, Pernetti offered few specifics after conducting a week-long investigation.
In addition to Rice’s physical actions seen in the practices, Rice calls Rutgers players “f—-ts,” “m—–f—–s,” “p—–s,” “sissy b—–s,” and “c—s,” among other epithets. Eric Murdock, an ex-NBA player and a former director of player development for the Scarlet Knights, told “Outside the Lines” that Rice’s “outrageous” behavior had caused at least three players to transfer from the team, including forward Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island prior to last season.
Murdock, a 44-year-old, nine-year NBA veteran, was fired by Rice and Pernetti in early July. Murdock’s attorney, Raj Gadhok, said Tuesday that Murdock intends to sue Rutgers for wrongful termination as early as Friday. “Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice,” Gadhok said. “As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University. That is unlawful in the state of New Jersey and Eric intends to pursue legal action for his wrongful termination, which the university and its representatives have been aware of for some time now. We have no further comment at this time.”