Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/20/14

In his first television interview since the well-publicized scandal that cost him his job six months ago, former Rutgers University men's basketball coach Mike Rice said he has learned from his mistakes and is now a changed man. "I won't be perfect moving forward, but I've changed," the once fiery Rice told "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts in an interview for ABC's "20/20." "Having that taken away, your dream job...and having it done in such a visible way...and hurting the people closest to me...it changes a person." The 44-year-old Rice was fired by the New Jersey state college April 3 as a result of a quickly unfolding scandal that began when ESPN's "Outside the Lines" aired footage of the coach being abusive to his players. The images were shocking, showing Rice pushing players in the chest, grabbing them by their jerseys, yanking them around the court, even hurling balls at their heads and groin. Rice could be heard screaming obscenities and vulgar language at players, including "f---ing f----t" and "fairy." Rice claims he looks back at his behavior and is appalled. "My first reaction, when I saw the tape was one of embarrassment, of shock, of sadness," Rice told Roberts. From ABC: Some of the harshest criticism against Rice came because of his use of anti-gay slurs, already a touchy subject at Rutgers. In 2010, Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi took his own life after he discovered his roommate had secretly used a webcam to watch his intimate encounter with another man in their dorm room. Rice told Roberts that his use of homophobic language was "idiotic," because, he said, "I wasn't thinking that I was shouting at Tyler Clementi, or anybody else, who was a gay or a lesbian." At the time, Rice said he believed he could change Rutgers' basketball program, but he admitted to Roberts that he wasn't ready. "I thought it was necessary to get my team or that individual... to be tougher," said Rice. Since the scandal, Rice said he has also apologized to his former players. "You know, whether it was texting, whether it was calling, whether it was, handwritten letters, whether it's email, they don't deserve this and especially the first year's team," he said. "Even though we were out-manned every single night, they really, really fought hard for me…and they're almost embarrassed about that fact now. They're embarrassed about being a Rutgers basketball player." He continued, "It's an incredible place...and it hurts, again, for me to be the reason why it's not looked upon as well as it should." "That was a hard lesson learned that's for sure," said Rice. "There is going to be a different message. There is going to be a different Coach Rice." Rice also spent five weeks of therapy in Houston with former NBA player John Lucas, who runs a treatment and recovery center for athletes. "You're not going to completely change the perception...because that's going to be who Mike Rice is, a small percentage of it," Rice said. "And again, it's not about making excuses. It's about learning from them. It's about sharing those mistakes with other coaches, and hopefully one day, if I do want to coach again, having an opportunity...That's what it's about." The full interview with the former Rutgers coach will air during ABC News' "20/20" on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at 10 p.m. ET.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

Five teams that failed to improve this offseason

Steelers fans were more profane on social media

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

The Media isn't the villain we deserve, but it's the one we need

Are LeBron and the Cavs ready to make a run?

The Super Bowl and the things that can't be controlled

DeMarcus Cousins calls out writer for five-year-old tweet

What if Drew Bledsoe didn't get injured in 2001?

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Seahawks praise Brady's trash-talk

Who should be in 2015 HOF class

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.