UPDATE: Fired Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice apologized in front of TV crews this morning, less than 24 hours after ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” showed footage of him abusing players and hours after he was let go by the university. Meanwhile, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti took responsibility for it getting this far.
“I want to tell everybody who has believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and the hardship that I’ve caused them,” Rice said outside his Little Silver home.
Here’s the ABC NEWS video of Rice’s mea culpa:
“Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values,” President Robert L. Barchi said this morning, in announcing the firing.
Barchi said he made the decision in consultation with Pernetti, who he said initially brought concerns over Rice’s behavior to him last fall.
“The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly,” Barchi said in a release. “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,” the president said. “Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.”
The ESPN show that aired yesterday included practice images from 2010-12 of Rice whizzing basketballs at players from close range, shoving and grabbing them, cursing and using homophobic insults. THE VIDEO: ESPN’s Outside the Lines: Mike Rice
“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior,” Barchi said. “I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University.
“Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice’s employment at Rutgers.”
Pernetti, in a statement, said he is “responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice. 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.”
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