Rutgers head coach Mike Rice wasn’t the only member of the coaching staff to leave the program on Wednesday.
According to multiple reports assistant coach Jimmy Martelli resigned, leaving interim head coach David Cox and assistant Van Macon as the only members of the coaching staff at present time.
While clips of his behavior in practices weren’t aired by the ESPN program Outside the Lines, Martelli was videotaped shoving an unidentified player during a practice on two occasions.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti, who has come under fire for his handling of the situation, stated earlier this week that Martelli’s behavior was addressed according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“Jimmy was spoken to about the matter,” Pernetti said earlier this week. “We dealt with that. Certainly the tape focused on Mike, but it brought some other things to light that we dealt with at the same time that we dealt with Mike.”
Martelli, son of Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, was a member of Rice’s staff at Robert Morris for three seasons before making the move to Rutgers when Rice was hired in 2010.
According to Outside the Lines Martelli was known as “Baby Rice” within the program due to his similarities to the head coach.
Tyree Graham, a player who was on the Rutgers team for two years, told “Outside the Lines” on Thursday that he, too, heard Martelli called “Baby Rice.” “He used to belittle players by the way he talked,” Graham said, adding that Martelli called players “b—–s,” and “pu–ies.”
Graham also said Martelli and Rice were “best friends. But Rice would yell at Martelli in practice as well.”
Martelli issued the following statement to MyCentralJersey.com on Thursday:
“I am sickened that as an assistant coach I contributed in any way to an unacceptable culture. Wednesday I resigned from Rutgers and I hope that coaches on all levels will learn something important from these events. For my actions, I am deeply sorry and I apologize to the players from the bottom of my heart.”
A number of names have been tossed around in regards to who Rutgers will pursue to take over the basketball program, including Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley and Ohio State assistant Chris Jent.
Photo credit: Rutgers Athletics