Rutgers fires basketball coach after leak of abusive videotape

10:21 AM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - One day after footage of his behavior during practices was shown on ESPN's "Outside the Lines", Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice has been fired by the school as originally reported by multiple outlets.

Rice says there's "no excuse" for his behavior seen in video excerpts of his team's practice sessions.

Rice emerged from his home Wednesday morning to speak to reporters outside and apologize for his conduct. He said his family was huddled inside the house because, in his words, "their father was an embarrassment to them." He said he'd let them down -- along with his players, their fans and the university.

Rice said he vowed to change after he first saw the video three months ago -- and he thinks he's "accomplished a lot of that."

NBC News shared the following statement released by Rutgers University on its Facebook page.

Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice.

"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice," said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim 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."

In three seasons at the school Rice, formerly the head coach at Robert Morris, posted an overall record of 44-51 but managed to go just 16-38 in Big East play.

Despite the lack of on-court success it's the video footage of abusive behavior in practices that led to Rice's ouster.

Allegations of abusive behavior in practice were made by former Rutgers director of basketball development Eric Murdock, whose contract was not renewed by the school following the 2011-12 season.

After originally viewing the tapes athletic director Tim Pernetti suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training.

In the video Rice is seen throwing basketballs at players and using profane language, including a homophobic slur.

Once the public saw the video and realized the severity of Rice's actions it became clear to many that the original punishment did not fit. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement on Tuesday that he was "deeply disturbed" by the footage, and other state politicians called for Rice to be fired.

The question now is whether or not more changes are made within the athletic department given the initial punishment. Yet there's no doubt that this is another black eye for a program that's had its share of issuesover the last decade.

(Copyright 2013 by NBC College Basketball Talk/KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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