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Fired! Rutgers cans coach for abusing players

NEED TO KNOW
  • Ex-coach: My family knows I 'was an embarrassment to them'
  • Rice seen verbally, physically abusing players during practice
  • NJ Gov. Christie: Actions 'unacceptable,' violate parents' trust
Fired! Rutgers cans coach for abusing players
rice

Mike Rice, in white, is seen shoving a player during practice in one of several videos which led to the coach's firing.

Rutgers' head men's basketball coach Mike Rice has been fired less than a day after the release of several practice videos showing him being physically and verbally abusive toward his players.

The jarring videos were recorded over several practices earlier this season and show the coach shouting obscenities at his players, berating them with epithets and slurs, shoving some players, and launching basketballs at others from close range.

The coach met Wednesday morning with Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti. In December, Pernetti suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 after viewing the practice videos.

On Wednesday, Pernetti said in a written statement, "I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice... Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community."

He wasn't the only one offering a mea culpa. In an interview Wednesday with WABC, Rice said, "There's no explanation for what's on those films, because there's no excuse for it. I was wrong."

"I can't say anything right now except I'm sorry, and there will never be a time where I'm going to use any of that as an excuse or will there be any excuse. I've let so many people down: my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans, my family -- who's sitting in their house, just huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them."

As a high profile, highly-paid public employee of the state of New Jersey, Rice was apparently also an embarrassment to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was keeping busy on Twitter:


The video that led to Rice's firing was first aired on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" and can be seen below:

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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