April 02, 2013

Rutgers' coach Mike Rice Berates Players at Practice: In several dozen hours of video of Rutgers men's basketball practices obtained by "Outside the Lines," coach Mike Rice is seen hurling basketballs from close range at his players' heads, legs and feet; shoving and grabbing his players; feigning punching them; kicking them; and screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs.

posted by phaedon to basketball at 04:57 PM - 16 comments

After watching some of that footage, I can't believe a player has never lost it on Rice and coldcocked him. I understand that the video is without context, and some of that physicality may have been within coaching parameters. I also understand that players typically have a tremendous amount of respect for their coaches, and will put up with some questionable behavior based on that respect. But Rice gets pretty abusive, both physically and verbally. And young men have a breaking point.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:23 PM on April 02

I can't believe a player has never lost it on Rice and coldcocked him

They're on scholarship, right? The truest form of despotism is grinding on young kids who can't fight back. That said, I wish we still had some Bobby Knight apologists around to explain this away.

posted by yerfatma at 07:55 PM on April 02

The time for his firing was when he was suspended at the beginning of the season. Looks like someone wants him out even though the school was supposed to monitor him during the season.

While it is understandable some people want him fired now, it would appear to me this is dirty pool. I'll wait for his forced resignation.

posted by jjzucal at 07:56 PM on April 02

My bet is that video isn't part of the Rutgers recruiting package.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:05 AM on April 03

I'm with tahoemoj. How has no one snapped? Maybe coldcocking wouldn't have happened (though I'd argue it's warranted), but I'm amazed there hasn't been some sort of Texas Tech/Billy Gillispie fallout here: mass transfers, or at least the players coming together and resisting or reporting the abuse.

Clearly, this guy needs to be out of coaching ASAP.

posted by Goyoucolts at 04:09 AM on April 03

The AD has to go as well.

Plus, if I were running a program, I would interview Eric Murdock in a heartbeat.

Latrell was born too soon and attended the wrong school.

posted by beaverboard at 10:51 AM on April 03

But, you wonder how quick they'd terminate Rice if his break-em-down then break-em-some-more style actually yielded considerably better results.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:48 PM on April 03

Presumably the uproar isn't what got him fired so much as the whole physical and verbal abuse thing? I mean, on paper at least.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:05 PM on April 03

Well, he had been suspended previously, so the university was apparently aware of his "methods" but just wasn't going to go as far as firing him until the video aired.

I'll say one thing for the guy though, his apology after getting fired was at least an actual apology and he admitted that he was wrong and his treatment of players wasn't the way to do things.

posted by LionIndex at 06:18 PM on April 03

Re: why the students didn't retaliate. I'm guessing that adherence to an authority figure (especially a coach) despite everything is just too strongly drilled into an athlete at that age to overcome.

posted by Bonkers at 08:01 PM on April 03

The most abusive coach I had was just someone who screamed at us all the time when I played 7th grade hockey. I was too small to fight back, and I wanted to play so bad I put up with it. If that shit had happened to me when I was 15 or 16 I would have either quit or kicked his ass. It's amazing to me how submissive these players are, but then again they have a college scholarship on the line. I was never in that position so I'm not sure it's fair to judge them for not fighting back. No wonder so many players transferred away.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:36 PM on April 03

On the heels of Rice's departure, Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti is now also out the door.

posted by beaverboard at 12:01 PM on April 05

My nephew played hockey in high school, and he was pretty good at it. He made varsity as a freshman, was a defenseman with a very accurate, heavy wrist shot from the point. He was also a big lad and solid on his skates. His sophomore year the school got a new coach who insisted that my nephew get into more of the roughing, pushing, and shoving. He also wanted to see some fights in practice. Needless to say, my nephew knew that if you fought during a game, you were suspended for the next one. He also was good enough that he did not need to push and shove and rough to play the game well. Brilliant coach suspended him from the team, so nephew walked. He didn't need the BS, and the school had a few crap seasons.

posted by Howard_T at 04:33 PM on April 05

Jay Bilas really lit into Rutgers' president after Robert Barchi's speech, and rightfully so. Probably not a time to hone your comedy skills.

posted by yerfatma at 06:06 PM on April 05

So no "Lighten up Frances" here?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:35 AM on April 08

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