Mike Rice. Courtesy: Debby Wong - USA Today Sports
Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Rutgers fired men's basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday.
The firing stems from the release of practice videos showing the former coach yelling slurs while also shoving, grabbing and throwing basketballs at the players.
Last December, the school had suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 after athletic director Tim Pernetti investigated the incident, but the videos were broadcast by ESPN on Tuesday and they quickly spread, leading many to question why Rice was still the coach at the school.
Pernetti said on Tuesday that he felt the original punishment was sufficient, since Rice was remorseful and had gone to counseling in order to address the issue. But after the videos became viral, Pernetti said that he would review the situation again and do what was in the best interest of the school.
"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of coach Rice," said Pernetti. "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."
Rice was hired by the school in 2010, and his teams went 44-51 during his tenure, including a mark of 16-38 in the Big East.
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