PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Fueled by outrage from even the governor when the video went public, Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after deciding it didn’t go far enough by suspending and fining him for shoving, kicking and throwing balls at players along with spewing gay slurs.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the tape by a former employee in November and, after an independent investigator was hired to review it, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi signed off on the penalty.
But on Wednesday, Rutgers referred to new information and “a review of previously discovered issues” as the reasons for Rice’s termination.
“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior,” Barchi said in a statement. “I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University.”
The video shows numerous clips of Rice at practice firing basketballs at players, hitting them in the back, legs, feet and shoulders. It also shows him grabbing players by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice can also be heard yelling obscenities and using gay slurs.
Rice, in his third season with the Scarlet Knights, addressed reporters outside his home in Little Silver, N.J., and apologized for his actions:
“As I stated three months ago after I watched the video how deeply regrettable those actions (were). I also stated I was going to try to work on changing. I think I’ve accomplished a lot of that,” Rice said. “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 there will be any excuse.