Former Rutgers head coach Mike Rice was fired in early April after a practice tape surfaced, showing physical and verbal abuse towards his players.
It has been nearly three months, and on Tuesday Rice shared the floor as an instructor with some of the top college and high school players in the country during the week-long Nike Skills Academy in Union, N.J. Rice confirmed his participation through a text message to Yahoo! Sports.
[UPDATED 6:50 p.m.] Matt Sugam of SNY.tv is denying the initial report that Rice was coaching on Tuesday
“Just watching,” Rice told SNY.tv by text. “I did no work outs.”
Yahoo! Sports has since updated it’s original story with a text from Rice saying he was “a viewing guest of John Lucas.”
Rice has been seen coaching before, two weeks after his firing, coaching his daughter’s AAU team.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported Rice helped out in drills and practice situations, according to coaches who watched practice on Tuesday. Wojnarowski went on to report that Rice has been in anger management at the John Lucas Wellness and Aftercare Program.
Rice was fired after three seasons with the Scarlet Knights, finishing with a 44-51 record. Following Rice’s exit, athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned. It didn’t get much better for Rutgers when the hiring of new head coach Eddie Jordan and new AD Julie Hermann also drew additional controversy.
Yahoo! Sports reported that Rice had previously been working with players in pre-draft workouts while at Lucas’ gym in Houston before helping out at the Nike Skills Academy this week.