OutSports reported yesterday that the reason behind Mike Rice’s suspension last December was because of physical and verbal abuse towards his players, including calling them faggots. Today, Rutgers fired their head basketball coach, less than one day after the video of his acts surfaced on ESPN’s Outside The Lines.
In a statement released today on the school’s athletic website, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti said the dismissal comes after he was incorrect in thinking a suspension and fine was the proper form of rehabilitation for 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,” Pernetti said. “Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
Widespread calls for Rice’s firing came from every corner of the sports and political world. USA Today reports that LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates were angered by the footage. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was "deeply disturbed" by what happened at the New Jersey school.
Ramogi Huma, president of college athlete advocacy group The National College Players Association, called for Rice’s immediate firing.
“The NCAA punishes kids for accepting grocery money but apparently the NCAA is fine with allowing a person to remain a college coach after kicking and shoving his players on video,” Huma said. “The fact that Mike Rice is still the Rutgers basketball coach is a telling indictment of a college athletic culture that excuses the mistreatment of college athletes.”
As of press time, there was no statement from Rutgers University.
WATCH: Outside The Line’s report on Mike Rice at ESPN