Former Rutgers player Derrick Randall is suing the university over the way he was treated during Mike Rice’s tenure as the school’s head coach.
The lawsuit was filed in the state’s federal court on Friday and names Rice, former assistant coach James Martelli, the university, school president Robert Barchi, former AD Tim Pernetti, CFO Janine Purcaro, and chairman of the board of governors Mark Hershhorn as defendants.
On April 3rd of this year, a video was released that showed Rice verbally abusing his players — cursing at them, yelling gay slurs at them — as well as throwing basketballs at their heads and feet. Martelli was even more confrontational in the video, at times looking as if he was challenging players to fight.
In the lawsuit, Randall claims that Rice’s actions led to the player losing all confidence in his abilities, which affected his ability to perform both on and off the court. He claims that the other defendants knew about Rice’s actions and failed to do anything about it.
“”The outrageous, intimidating and abusive conduct to which Derrick was subjected included Coach Rice hurling basketballs at his head and legs and hitting, grabbing, striking and shoving him,” the complaint states, according to Courthouse News Services. “Coach Rice verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused Derrick through violent screaming, cursing and other humiliation tactics, including the use of homophobic slurs and other shockingly derogatory and discriminatory name calling. A photograph of Coach Rice grabbing Derrick by the neck and face on the bench during a game, with Derrick looking completely lost and helpless, speaks volumes, as does the video of such abusive behavior.”
Here’s the kicker, from that same Courthouse News story:
Randall, who has learning disabilities, seeks damages and punitive damages for assault and battery, negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with prospective economic advantage, discrimination, and violations of his civil rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Randall transferred to Pitt during the offseason. He’s averaging 3.1 points and 4.8 boards in 15.3 minutes for Jamie Dixon’s club.