Back in December 2012, Rutgers Men’s Basketball coach Mike Rice was suspended for 3 games and fined $50,000 for an undislosed incident. At the time, Rutgers wouldn’t comment on why Rice was suspended. Now, we know why.
Outside the Lines managed to get their hands on footage of Rice throwing basketballs at his players’ head, shoving them, and kicking them, a full-on physical assault on his players, many of whom are only 18 or 19.
Not only was the abuse physical, but verbal as well. He called them “motherf*ckers”, “c*nts,” “sissy b*tches,” and “f*cking f**gots.”
Allegations of player abuse, both physical and verbal, were reportedly the reason three players transferred from the university. In addition, ex-director of player development Eric Murdock went to AD Tim Pernetti to discuss the treatment of players, but was brushed off. According to Raj Gadhok, Murdock’s attorney, “Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice. As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University.”
The video, which you can see above, is shocking to watch. As a man and an educator entrusted to mold, sculpt, and develop the minds and abilities of these talented young men, Mike Rice fails miserably. How Rice managed to hold on to his job, much less avoid getting arrested for assault, is beyond me.
It seems like Rutgers has a history of men’s basketball coaches abusing players. In 1997, it was reported that Kevin Bannon, the head coach at the time, forced two players and a team manager had to run wind sprints naked after losing a free-throw contest. Both athletes transferred, claiming they were humiliated. However, Bannon stayed on as the team’s head coach until 2001.
Similarly, Fred Hill Jr., Rice’s predecessor and son of Rutgers’ baseball manager Fred Hill, caused an incident when he ran onto the baseball field after a controversial call. He proceeded to scream at the umpire, as well as opposing team’s head coach and athletic director.
Deadspin reports that AD Tim Pernetti maintains that Rice will remain the head coach of the Rutgers Men’s Basketball team.