Rutgers Fires Coach After Practice Tape Airs

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 3 2013 10:23 AM

Rutgers Fires Coach After Public Learns of Abuse School Already Knew About

Head coach Mike Rice of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights coaches against the Syracuse Orange at Louis Brown Athletic Center on Feb. 19, 2012, in New Brunswick, N.J.
Head coach Mike Rice of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights coaches against the Syracuse Orange at Louis Brown Athletic Center on Feb. 19, 2012, in New Brunswick, N.J.

Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Rutgers University fired men's basketball coach Mike Rice this morning. "Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice," the school said in a statement on Twitter.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Those "previously discovered issues"? Rice's abusive behavior during team practices, during which he threw basketballs at his players, shoved them, used a variety of profane language including a gay slur, and acted generally like someone most parents wouldn't want anywhere near their children. The coach's actions were caught on tape, portions of which were aired by ESPN yesterday. The footage drew a quick rebuke from many sports columnists, and led New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to issue a statement saying that he was "deeply disturbed" by the whole thing.

Advertisement

As the Star-Ledger explains, Rutgers had already reprimanded Rice for his actions last December, suspending him for three games without pay and fining him $50,000 after the school's athletic director, Tim Pernetti, was shown the damning footage. Once the tape went public, however, it appears as though Pernetti and the other school officials rethought just how inappropriate Rice's behavior was.

"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice," Pernetti said in a statement this morning. "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."

Here's some of the video:

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

This post has been updated with additional information.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.