AthleteAlly.org issues statement supporting Rutgers’ decision to fire Mike Rice

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Following the firing of Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, AthleteAlly.org issued a statement supporting the school’s decision:

In a video shown Tuesday on ESPN, Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, is seen yelling homophobic slurs at his players, kicking them, grabbing them, shoving them and throwing basketballs at them. Moments ago, the university fired Coach Rice and in doing so stood by the Athlete Ally Pledge, which the university’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Tim Pernetti, signed.  The pledge states:

“I pledge to lead my athletic community to respect and welcome all persons, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Beginning right now, I will do my part to promote the best of athletics by making all players feel respected on and off the field.”

Athlete Ally Ambassador and former Rutgers student Nick Angelides comments: “I met with Rutgers Athletics Director Tim Pernetti, and he signed the Athlete Ally Pledge, but  his failure to take action against Mike Rice is embarrassing, alienating, and entirely unjustifiable.”

Athlete Ally Founder and Executive Director, Hudson Taylor, also commented on Rice’s behavior: “Mike Rice puts homophobia in context, showing us what is at stake and how homophobic slurs and other forms of prejudice can manifest in real time. His behavior is a powerful and unfortunate reminder of what abuse and disrespect in sports can look like. His comments were homophobic, sexist and cruel. And, he used them often in moments of violence, showing just how abusive and dangerous that kind of language can be. We commend Rutgers for taking swift action and look forward to continuing to work with them to support allyship on campus.”

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?