Video – Rutgers Coach Mike Rice Fired after Abuse Video goes Viral
A Bully in the Building
In a video released by ESPN’s Outside the Lines, footage of Rice physically abusing players quickly went viral, and has resulted in the firing of Coach Rice.
“Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice,” the school statement read.
“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. “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.”
Social media allows the instant distribution of content, and results in public outcry far louder and more immediate than many organizations anticipate.
This now spotlights a broader issue of “allowed” abuse. How long was this behavior allowed?
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a former employee. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, he suspended Rice for three games, fined him $75,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi saw the tape and signed off on the initial punishment.
A statement released by Barchi reads: “Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation’s most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values.”
“When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by athletic director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel. The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator’s findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored. Tim Pernetti also made it clear to Coach Rice that there would be zero tolerance for additional infractions. Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.”
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