mike-rice

Trash talking on the court and in the locker room is as old as basketball itself but where do you draw the line between a time-honored tradition and verbal abuse? That debate is reaching a fever pitch due to the firing of Rutgers head basketball coach, Mike Rice.

Rice was fired on Wednesday after ESPN published a video of him physically and verbally abusing players and calling them homophopic slurs. He’s seen saying “you f**cking fairy…you’re a f**cking fa*got,” and pushing, kicking and throwing basketballs at players as they flinch.

ESPN received the video from Rutgers former player development director, Eric Murdock, who said he was fired for exposing Rice (the university says those claims are untrue). The video shows practices in 2010 and 2012.

Initially, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and sent to anger management classes, a punishment Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi now regrets. Barchi said: “I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University.”

Critics feel the public backlash is behind President Barchi’s sudden change of heart. The publicity is bad for the school as even Governor Chris Christine has spoken out saying he supports Rice’s firing and was ”deeply disturbed” by the clip: This was a regrettable episode for the university, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice. It was the right and necessary action to take in light of the conduct displayed on the videotape.”

On one hand, people feel Rice’s behavior was deplorable and isn’t acceptable in any environment from parents even let alone coaches. Others think the firing is an overreaction and shows how sensitive our society has become. His supporters also bring up the fact that the video showed Rice’s reaction in extreme situations, but he was a source of advice and support for his players in positive scenarios that won’t make the news. What are your thoughts, Clutchettes?

  • Mademoiselle

    Extreme situation or not, these kids aren’t the man’s punching bag. If he needs to take out his frustration physically, he needs to find the nearest consenting tree and go round for round. Cowards like Barchi irritate me too. Did he think Rice was this menace because he coached 3 too many games and was tormented by the extra $75K in his bank account? How was that ever considered the appropriate course of discipline for something like this?

  • CMK

    I watched that video and when I saw him hit those players, wow. I bet they took it because many of them want a NBA career or are on scholarship. How disgusting that the university knew and allowed it to happen, until this video went viral and public outrage happened. The university should be fined!

    People who think this is an over-reaction are missing the bigger picture here. This man put his hands on basically young men, and most of it is them practicing, like wow. He’s a coach. Isn’t he suppose to coach not try to hurt the players? He clearly has no form of discipline to control his anger issues or frustrations so he reacts this way? Come on, people, this is NOT normal behavior for any level of sports — little league to the NBA — physical abuse shouldn’t be tolerated, especially by the players or the coach. I mean his entire role is to lead them by his example , to teach them how to play the game better, to help them win games, but dude is seriously on fire at the games and at practice. He seems to ALWAYS be ON.

    I’m glad he was fired. I’m sure he thought he was doing the “manly” thing, but you just don’t put your hands on someone else. I mean the fact that he “counseled” them does nothing for me, counsel them, then beat their ass for missing a few points during practice or a game, where they do that at?

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    Where is Latrell Sprewell when you need him?

  • Marisa

    You would think a school that had a student jump of a bridge to his death because his roommate and his friend taped his tryst with another man and live streamed it, would have canned this psycho upon seeing that tape months ago. Rutgers did this to save themselves, these kids want to play may not have the offers that big stars get so they keep quiet. No recourse for them at all yet, if a student had dog walked this Rice the kid would have been kicked off the squad, out of school and lost his scholarship and chances to play elsewhere. Even Indiana tossed the great Bob Knight into the bushes and his wild antics didn’t top this. One would think after the Penn State debacle that these administrators would stop trying with the cover ups. People always preach about how these young athletes are sometimes undisciplined how, how are they suppose to learn when even the coaches don’t act right.

  • No_chaser

    I truly believe this country has become rife with overly PC whiners and victims. There was a time when coaches would rough their team up with cries of “sissy”, “candyass”, you name it. From all this so-called tough love, tough, UNSCATHED athletes were borne with no hard feelings and all was forgotten. You simply got over it.
    Now everyone wants to jump on the sensitivity bandwagon. Soon, hugs and coddling wil be the norm during practice. Very frightening.

  • dave

    every adult male who has played in a high school sport has dealt with tougher coaches than this. Politically correct wimps are making todays’s young people softer and softer. At this rate, the next World War will end with Americans having to learn a new language

  • Pema

    He wasn’t fired for name-calling he was fired for kicking players, throwing the ball at their heads, and pushing them. Anyone who thinks that male coaches don’t call their players “sissies”, “girl”, or worse is just delusional.

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