The number of former players that appear to be taking legal action against Rutgers and former head coach Mike Rice has grown to four.
In December, Derrick Randall, who has since transferred to Pitt, filed a lawsuit against Rice, a former assistant coach and the former Athletics Director, among others, over the mental, emotional and physical abuse he suffered during his time with the Scarlett Knights. Randall, who has learning disabilities, also claimed that Rice and company violated his civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On Tuesday, the Newark Star-Ledger broke the news that three other athletes who played for Rice have taken or plan to taken similar action:
The university released letters from attorneys for Jerome Seagears, who is still on the Scarlet Knights roster, along with former teammates Robert Lumpkins and Dane Miller, who either filed notices of claim in connection with their treatment at the hands of Rice, or letters of representation asking Rutgers to preserve all evidence related to the students.
None of the students has gone to court.
Rice was fired on April 3rd, just days after a video was released of him throwing balls at his players, cursing at them and calling them gay slurs. One of his assistants appeared to challenge some of the players to fight. A number of higher-ups in the athletic department, including Athletics Director Tim Pernetti, lost their jobs as well. They saw the video in December and suspended Rice while fining him.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.