NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — It’s the end of the line for firebrand Rutgers University Head Basketball Coach Mike Rice. The University announced his firing Wednesday morning.
The announcement follows a torrent of criticism following video that surfaced showing him verbally and physically abusing his players during practices.
The pictures are almost unbelievable. Rice can be seen and heard pushing, grabbing, kicking and screaming at student athletes during the workouts.
He was suspended for 3 games last December, fined $50,000, and ordered to go to an anger management class according to ESPN.
ESPN’S “Outside the Lines” show obtained the 30 minutes of video reviewed by Rutgers officials and hundreds of hours of video of practices over the 2 seasons before this season. In the video you see Rice who coached at Robert Morris before Rutgers heaving balls at his players, even at their heads.
Rice hired former NBA player Eric Murdock to be his Director of Player Development. He told ESPN he had never seen such coaching tactics. “It’s unbelievable to me that somebody would feel that technique could be successful.”
But there’s more. The coach also used homophobic terms to berate a player. Rutgers student Gerald Witherspoon told PIX 11 ” I think the video was harsh. It was a little bit shocking to see that for the first time, knowing that it happened at the university. Asked what should happen to the coach he replied.” He should be fired.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement Tuesday condemning the behavior.
Rutgers officials announced Rice’s firing Wednesday morning.