Outside The Lines aired the video of Rutgers coach Mike Rice’s coaching tactics on Tuesday afternoon, and it was quite damning.
He repeatedly manhandled players, pushing and shoving and pulling them by their jersey. He fired balls at his players, including one instance where it appears that he threw a ball at one player’s head. He called his players every name imaginable, including one instance where he can be heard yelling “f—ing fairy, f—ing fa–ot”.
Rice has already been suspended for this incident. He was kept away from the program for three weeks, missed three games and lost almost a quarter of his annual salary.
The reason that this is getting brought back up is that former Rutgers staffer Eric Murdock has filed a lawsuit against the university. The basics, from a statement given to Outside The Lines by Murdock’s attorneys:
“Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice. As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers university. That is unlawful in the state of New Jersey, and Eric intends to pursue legal action for his wrongful termination, which the university and its representatives have been aware of for some time now. We have no further comment at this time.”
Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti has been adamant that Mike Rice’s job is not in danger.
It will be interesting to see if public pressure changes that opinion, because there isn’t a single person that has seen this video that believes that Rice should keep his job. The fact that he hasn’t been fired yet may end up costing Pernetti his job as well.
UPDATE 2 April 2013, 8:46 p.m. ET
According to the Associated Press, Rice’s job status is under review in the wake of the video leak this afternoon. The school would reportedly “reconsider its decision to retain” Rice. The video prompted a response from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose office said the following in a statement:
“Governor Christie saw the video today for the first time and he is obviously deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior. It’s not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University.”
(Video via The Big Lead)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.