Found April 04, 2013 on Metta Chronicles:
The news article was written by our college basketball expert James Weber while commentary was supplied by Colin & Rohit. What a difference 24 Hours can make. Rutgers University head basketball coach Mike Rice has been fired, after a whirlwind of support for his dismissal arose since an ESPN report surfaced earlier this week. The ESPN program Outside the Lines (OTL) ran several secretive videos of Coach Rice, verbally and sometimes physically assaulting his players during practices. OTL interviews with several coaches and analysts conveyed outrage at the lack of institutional punishment and the conduct of Rice. Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti came on the program to defend his position that Rice’s punishment; a three-game suspension, a $75,000 fine and anger management classes, were sufficient. Those within and beyond the sports realm disagreed. Lebron James tweeted “If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gon whoop on him afterwards! C’mon”. Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie weighed in via spokesperson, stating he was “deeply disturbed” by the videos. 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 The whistleblower was Eric Murdock. Murdock, a 1991 NBA first round selection to the Utah Jazz, spent 9 seasons in the pros. After retiring, he later found himself as the Director of Player Development for the Scarlet Knights in 2010. He served in that role until 2012, but his contract wasn’t renewed. Murdock claims he approached AD Tim Pernetti about Rice several times during his short stay, but when his contract was up for renewal in June of 2012, he was let go due to “insubordination”. The school disagreed, arguing his dismissal was for insubordination in an unrelated matter. Murdock is now suing the University for wrongful termination. Murdock, a Jersey native is no stranger to tough coaching; he played for Rick Barnes in college and Jerry Sloan in the pros, amongst others. What Murdock witnessed at Rutgers surprised him though. Later, taped practices provided by independent investigators, throughout last summer, revealed shocking tapes. Slurs and epithets and a physical presence are abundant in the videos; in one clip Rice belittles a player screaming “You f**king fairy … you’re a f**king fa**ot.” In another he kicks a player in the behind. Multiple times Rice launched balls towards his players, and more often than not the video excerpts contained Rice physically putting his hands on, or shoving athletes. In an interview with ESPN Murdock stated it’s, “Unbelievable to me that someone would feel that technique can be successful.” Unbelievable indeed. When confronted outside his home Wednesday morning, Rice took full responsibility (as he should) and apologized, “I’ve let so many people down. My players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans.” While he’s taken blame, Rice has yet to give an explanation for his actions, instead admitting that he will explain his actions in the future. Rutgers AD Pernetti’s job is reportedly safe, considering he was recent nomination for Athletic Director of the Year (2013). Pernetti will lead a nation-wide search for a new men’s basketball coach. Rice compiled a 44-51 record in three seasons as Rutgers’ head coach, and finished just 16-38 in conference play since the 2010-11 season. Bacardi’s Take As a former student athlete, this behavior by a coach towards his players sickens me. I’ve had tough coaches in the past, but nothing compares to the abuse that Rice doled out while at Rutgers (and probably at his previous stop at Robert Morris). Though he may not be able to find work soon, Rice needs counseling and shouldn’t be allowed near young men in the near future. I think the most inexcusable aspect of this scenario is the failure of AD Pernetti to properly act when first alerted of the situation. After Murdoch showed him footage and after the suspension, these verbal and physical attacks continued on his students. Even if it took Pernetti to physically attend every Rutgers’ basketball practice, proper measures should have been conducted to ensure the safety of student athletes. I’m interested to see what Rice’s former players will say of his practice mentality; only a few have given their opinions and they’ve been very mixed to say the least. I wonder what would have happened had Rutgers been a successful program, and not a sub .500 team? Would Rice still be employed? Though other coaches in the past (Bobby Knight specifically comes to mind), but in this modern age of sports, Rice’s actions are intolerable. I’m happy for the university that proper actions were (finally) taken. Hopefully the administration will find a great replacement coach, someone who these student athletes deserve.   Pirozzi’s Take Many analysts have brought this up, but imagine if a professor at the university did anything close to what Rice did. They’d be fired immediately, regardless of tenure, and would NEVER get a teaching job again. Most importantly, it would not have taken this long for the story to surface. To be honest, I guarantee if Rice had a better winning record at Rutgers, we might have never even heard about all this. These kids, just like Bacardi was, are student athletes. The coach is the most important teacher and role model they have, and Mike Rice was an embarrassment to that responsibility. The bigger issue in college sports is that because of how much gets brought in from ‘amateur’ athletes, the watchers (ex. the athletic directors) often turn a blind eye. I bring this up because it goes hand in hand with the emphasis on winning – in my opinion, there are probably other coaches who have acted in a similar manner but either didn’t get caught or they just won enough. Keep in mind, Rutgers had to fire Rice because of the video and OTL report, not because of his actions. Rice kept apologizing to the media yesterday, and sure, he might have been ‘sorry’, but it was because he got caught. Not because he all of a sudden changed his philosophy on how to coach his kids. If the tape had disappeared, or if it had been erased after AD Pernetti saw it, Rice would still be the coach today. I still think the entire issue was overblown. Not the firing, but many of our reactions. I think much of society is over-sensitive, especially [right now] to homophobic slurs. I know I’m treading choppy waters here, but I do feel our emotional reactions to certain issues are way too exaggerated. Our reactions empower such words. The focus should be that he did not act in the proper way, not a few words he yelled. The only thing I REALLY disagreed with was him kicking his player(s), actual physical violence. Just my opinion. With all that said, I’m glad Rutgers U handled it as soon as the story hit the front page. Of course, looking back, we would have wanted them to deal with it months ago, but they did a good enough job yesterday to get past this public relations nightmare. P.S. When I first heard about all this, it reminded me of Air Bud. Remember the scene where the first coach (I think Coach Barker) was throwing balls hard at one of his players (Tom?), the kid who could never catch the ball consistently in games. That coach, too, was fired.
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