It was only a matter of time. Rutgers University men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was fired today after video of him verbally and physically abusing his players was released yesterday.
Back in December 2012, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $50,000 and ordered to take anger management classes by Rutgers. However, the university didn’t say what Rice specifically had done to merit such punishment. Yesterday, when the video dropped courtesy of ESPN’s Outside The Lines, plenty of people were saying he got a slap on the wrist.
In the footage, Rice is seen hurling basketballs at the heads of players, shoving and kicking players and calling them f@ggots and c*nts.
So this morning’s news that Rice has been canned is a surprise to no one. Would the coach have been fired if this footage had never surfaced? Probably not. It took former NBA- guard Eric Murdock dropping dime for Rice to be exposed.
Eric Murdock, an ex-NBA player and a former director of player development for the Scarlet Knights, told “Outside the Lines” that Rice’s “outrageous” behavior had caused at least three players to transfer from the team, including forward Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island prior to last season. The Newark Star-Ledger, citing an anonymous source, reported Tuesday night that two more players had decided to leave the school at the end of the academic year, though it was unclear why.
Murdock, a 44-year-old, nine-year NBA veteran, was fired by Rice and Pernetti in early July. Murdock’s attorney, Raj Gadhok, said Tuesday that Murdock intends to sue Rutgers for wrongful termination as early as Friday.
“Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice,” Gadhok said. “As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University. That is unlawful in the state of New Jersey and Eric intends to pursue legal action for his wrongful termination, which the university and its representatives have been aware of for some time now. We have no further comment at this time.”
Watch the now infamous footage below. Reportedly there is plenty of more practice footage out there that will start leaking sooner or later. Let us know your opinion of the actions of Rice and Rutgers in the comments. Also, check out Rice’s reaction to getting canned on the next page.