On April 3, Rutgers University Head Basketball Coach Mike Rice was relieved of duty following a practice video that went viral. The video showed Rice abusing his players both physically and verbally. The video was leaked by Director of Player Development, Eric Murdock.
As seen in the video, the physical abuse consisted of throwing basketballs at players, along with pushing, shoving, and making physical contact with them. The verbal abuse consisted of swearing at players and using homophobic slurs toward some players. After seeing the video, Rice was suspended for three games by the University. Then, when the abuse continued, Rice was fired. According to ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Rice later did apologize for his actions: “I was going to try to work on changing. I can’t say anything right now except I’m sorry; there will never be a time where I will use any of that as an excuse.”
Along with Rice being fired, assistant coach, Jimmy Martelli, resigned because of his role in the aforementioned practice video. In the clip, Martelli can be seen using the same physical and verbal abuse towards players as Rice did. The two coaches have been together for years, dating back to when Rice was the head coach at Robert Morris and Martelli was his assistant coach. As of late, Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and the University General Counsel have also been fired. According to the Daily Press of Williamsburg, Virginia, Tim Pernetti’s benefits package from Rutgers included $1.2 million dollars in salary, two years of health insurance, a car allowance of $12,000 per year and possession of a school-issued laptop and iPad.