Selasa, 02 April 2013

Video Puts Rutgers Coach Under Scrutiny

The footage taken at practices from 2010 to 2012 went viral Tuesday putting Rice under scrutiny.

In December after seeing the video Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti fined Rice $50 000 and suspended him for three games. He offered little elaboration.

Messages left for Rice on Tuesday were not returned and efforts to contact Pernetti were unsuccessful. An N.C.A.A. spokeswoman declined to comment.

In an interview Tuesday on WFAN radio Pernetti said of fining and suspending Rice rather than firing him I made that decision. I am accountable for it. I have to live with it.

He said In the end I am not going to look back and say shoulda woulda. All I can do is figure out going forward the decisions I can make to fix the problem for Rutgers.

In a statement on behalf of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey his press secretary Michael Drewniak said Governor Christie saw the video today for the first time and he is obviously deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior. It s not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University.

The video was compiled by Eric Murdock a former Rutgers director of player personnel. Murdock s lawyer Raj Gadhok said Murdock reported Rice s actions last summer and later was told his contract would not be renewed. In November Gadhok said Murdock presented the video which is said to be about 30 minutes in length to Pernetti and other Rutgers officials.

By Dec. 13 Pernetti concluded his investigation and issued Rice s punishment. After the season in which Rutgers finished 15 16 Pernetti publicly backed Rice and he reiterated Tuesday to reporters that Rice would not be fired barring any further incident.

Murdock said he planned to sue Rutgers for wrongful termination. Gadhok said that before Murdock reported Rice s actions he had been told his contract would be renewed.

The footage apparently was not supposed to be shown on ESPN until Sunday but when word leaked Rutgers showed it first to a group of reporters Tuesday. After the viewing Pernetti told the reporters that the gay slur was at the core of Rice s suspension in December. The physical contact though shocked many.

Jalen Rose an ESPN basketball analyst sent out a Twitter message saying The video of Rutgers H.C. Rice abusing players is appalling He should be fired ASAP.

In 1997 Indiana Coach Bob Knight was caught on tape choking a player named Neil Reed in practice. In 2000 when Reed spoke out about the incident and a video surfaced Knight was placed on a zero tolerance policy. Six months later he was fired.

Rice is not the first Rutgers basketball coach to draw the public s ire for an incident during practice. In 1997 Kevin Bannon ordered two players and two student managers to run sprints naked as part of a free throw shooting contest. The two players later transferred. Bannon was not fired until 2001 when the incident was revisited publicly by the players.

Zach Schonbrun contributed reporting.

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