mike riceThe firing of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice has been all the talk today. Now the president of the university has released a statement:

Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation’s most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values.

When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel.  The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator’s findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored. Tim Pernetti also made it clear to Coach Rice that there would be zero tolerance for additional infractions. Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.

Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior. 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. Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice’s employment at Rutgers.

(Photo: screenshot fromYouTube video)

31 replies on “On Mike Rice: Statement by Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi”

  1. Your telling me they suspend the head coach midseason, fine him 75K and dock his pay but the President of the University never looked at that tape until yesterday? BS. RU is a disgrace and the taxpayers continually have to pay for their mistakes after they hire and fire coach after coach. It just seems like yesterday they had a coach that had his players and student managers run naked sprints and foul shoot. Who vets these people?

  2. This idiot got 300k BASE salary!!

    These poor kids get screamed at, abused and paid NOTHING, while the big colleges, Networks, advertisers and everyone else gets paid.

    Sorry, this guy is a jerk and should be fired.

    But all of this “March Madness” makes me sick.

    God Bless Baseball with a real minor league system where the players are paid, unlike this servitude Basketball and Football players are forced to endure.

    (prof has stepped down from his soapbox…. Waiting for cathar in 5, 4, 3, 2……0;)

  3. They do get a free education, housing, food, etc. but I agree some additional compensation through endorsements and such should be allowed.

  4. I think what the university president meant to say was “everyone else saw the video and I had to look like I was doing something”.

  5. I saw the videos for the first time myself today. It was painful. Hope the guy gets some help. Hope the boys/men he hurt get help, too.

  6. I hope they didn’t pay the “independent investigator” much. If you feel you need to hire one of those, yet haven’t taken the time to look for yourself, well time for you to go as well.

    That coach needs some serious anger management help

  7. I know of coaches at MHS that are not too far from this.

    I was a “student athlete” myself long ago and far away. The twited sick, disturbing stuff I witnessed first hand from coaches make this no surprise whatsoever. Coaches grabbing kids, cursing them, ridiculing them in front of other kids, questioning their sexuality. All of it. Of course as a 15, 16, 17 year old I didnt say word one of it to my parents.

    If you think the majority of sports coaches are wel-adjusted rational folks you are kidding yourself.

  8. Everything associated with Rutgers basketball and football is a disgusting cesspool of corruption, dishonesty, and incompetence. That idiot A.D. Should be fired, too. And we end up paying the bill.

  9. I do surely hope that the young people who played for this person – and their parents – will avail themselves of the opportunity to initiate civil litigation against both Mr. Rice as well as Rutgers University.

    Not that it is going to undo the damage done by Rice, but economic burden and disadvantage are powerful educative techniques where homophobia is concerned. Hitting the ‘phobes where it hurts them most – in the wallet – goes a long way toward ending this kind of bullying.

    Oh, parenthetically, a question for yougottalovehim: you mention MHS (= Montclair High School, yes?)

  10. I would like to say “Bravo!” to the ever-confused Courson for his suggestion that the courts be clogged up even further with nuisance lawsuits.

    That some (many!) appear shocked, shocked! that coaches can be abusive at times just shows how unfamiliar many posters are with the demands of big-time college athletics. That is not to excuse Rice’s conduct. But the idea of a “kinder, gentler” college athletic environment, really, it’s not gonna happen in any of our lifetimes. Also, the sort of thuglike sorts who subscribe to the hopes of so-called “one-and-done” basketball programs at certain schools, really, you expect these guys to be, uh, desensitized by a wildman (or wildwoman, women’s college hoops can be just as intensely fought) as coach? They’re not there to take etiquette courses but, rather, to win at almost all costs. (Rick Pitino actually stands approvingly alongside his charges as they announce they’re bagging his team after one year for an NBA contract, making a mockery of the entire concept of a college education in return for athletic prowess.)

    What may have doomed Rice, in the end, was probably the same thing that kept Bobby Knight on his throne for so long: a winning record, or the lack thereof.

  11. Rutgers also remains on the hook, silverleaf, for that piece of property they sold to him for a song so Coach Schiano could build a home near the football facilities. At the time of the sale, Schiano assured Rutgers that of course he’d be “staying put” there for almost forever. But the house remains unsold, and unless someone else in the Athletics Department of RU wants to live reallyreallyreallyclose to the locker rooms…

  12. Real estate and housing issues aside, most RU fans applaud Schiano for taking the Scarlet Knights out of the basement of the Big East Yes, that he did do that (is there a sub-basement?)

    Upon a closer look, in his eleven seasons as head coach, RU never won a conference title and never finished a season above tied for 2nd place. Moreover, they had a terrible conference record (28-48), and a barely above .500 overall record (68-67), while playing very non-competitive schedule (Univ. Buffalo, Morgan State, Kent State, Norfolk State, New Hampshire, Howard, Texas Southern, Florida International, North Carolina Central.) Granted, while he took his team to six bowl games in seven years, not one was a BCS or major bowl.

    For this, he was THE highest paid public employee in the state of New Jersey at annual total compensation of $2.3 million and the highest paid coach in the Big East Conference at the time of his departure to the NFL.

    Additionally, the RU Athletic Department is only one of two at the D1 level operating in the red, not self funding, and drawing from larger institutional coffers to run its programs. AD Tim Perretti may have saved his job in this recent Mike Rice fiasco by earlier negotiating RU into the Big 10, though many, including myself, believe that this was an ultimate coup for RU, not for the Big 10. Can’t say same for university President Barchi however, as faculty and administration are currently calling for his ouster, and deservedly so.

    Lest we not forget, it was not too long ago that previous basketball coach Fred Hill, Jr. threw a temper tantrum at a RU baseball game coached by his father and allowed to resign in return for a settlement of almost $900,000? This is where our tax dollars are going. And then there was Kevin Bannon who, while coaching RU hoops between ’97 – ’01, was fired for demanding that his players run laps around the RAC naked. And then Gary Waters and Bob Wenzel and Craig Littlepage. One has to go all the way back to the mid 70’s when Tom Young coached that great Final Four team with Sellers, Dabney, Jordan, Copeland, and Bailey.

    Sports fans, there’s something rotten in New Brunswick . . . err Piscataway . . . err Camden . . . err Newark.

    That said, I will not comment any further on the current state of athletics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; its merits stand on its own.

  13. Fred Hill, Jr. threw a temper tantrum at a RU baseball game coached by his father and allowed to resign in return for a settlement of almost $900,000!

    (Sentence ends w. exclamation point, not question mark.)

  14. cathar – Yes, I am told the former Schiano home remains unsold. They are working hard to remove the smell of sanctity from within.

  15. Perhaps Cathar would rather not see victims of abuse take recourse to the courts when aggrieved, though he doesn’t offer much of an alternative but to “toughen up.” Not very useful.

    Perhaps he thinks it is just fine that my tax dollars should have continued to pay Mr. Rice’s six-figure salary. That’s not OK with me, nor with most others that I’ve spoken to.

    Maybe Cather feels I am being intolerant of Mr. Rice’s managerial style, and that I should just understand that “boys will be boys.” To which I reply, tolerance of intolerance is not tolerance. It is cowardice.

  16. Nonetheless, for your incisive and well-thought out opinions that are such an ornament to this venue, as always, I say ‘thank you’, Ignatius J. Reilly.

  17. “But the idea of a “kinder, gentler” college athletic environment, really, it’s not gonna happen in any of our lifetimes”

    —um, except perhaps for the fact that, 20 years ago, Rice would not have been fired. but today, he was. that would indicate that things are changing, rather than maintaining the status quo to which cathar clings.

    then there’s this:

    “the sort of thuglike sorts who subscribe to the hopes of so-called “one-and-done” basketball programs”

    —not sure what you mean by “thug-like”, cathar. i think there’s a word missing here that you want to say so desperately. we all know what you really are, cathar—so just say the word. you know you want to.

  18. The type of behaviour I witnessed on that tape would not be acceptable in today’s United States Marine Corps, let alone on a college basketball court. The whole thing is a disgrace.

    And while I’m certainly no expert on college basketball, I remember hearing about and later reading up on John Wooden, the legendary coach at UCLA whose records have still not be topped, and whose ability to motivate young men did not require the sort of awful behaviour seen here.

  19. While I cannot speak for the Marine Corps, I can, as an Army veteran, note that I saw much more abuse, physical and verbal, in basic training at Fort Dix than is even hinted at by the Rice tape. Perhaps you, croiagusanam, simply spent time at Parris Island on an “off day?” Did you ever spend ANY time at Parris Island as a recruit, come to think of it?

    Courson, you really are just incredibly foolish and sheltered. As per usual. As for your surely piddling tax dollars contribution to Mr. Rice’s salary, feel free to shift it to something more socially acceptable to your wearisome self. Yoga lessons in schools, say.

    And for all who simply didn’t do well at reading comp back in school, I nowhere and in no way endorsed Rice’s coaching conduct. I merely noted that it’s rather common on the college level (others can comment on high school and grade school sports). To doubt this is a huge mistake. And ESPN, which itself poses as shocked, shocked! by Rice’s conduct, once in fact made a rather admiring movie about even worse behavior by Coach Bear Bryant back when he took over at Texas A&M. (This too is the network full of overly hearty guys in shiny suits who do a weekly jock sniffing NFL seasonal segment on bone-crunching called “All Jacked Up,” where every concussion or ACL tear merely seems occasion fir group merriment.) It was called “Junction Boys” and Courson in particular should get a great kick out of watching it.

  20. Also, cunningham (I feel like the Fonz calling little freckle-faced Richie typing this), no, I meant nothing racial at all by referring to thug-like college basketball players. (That you immediately leapt to this assumption does your own train of thought no credit.) The rosters of places like Auburn and New Mexico State and Florida’s basketball teams are full of Caucasian court hatchet men. It is the one (two tops) and done philosophy of both college basketball players and their coaches which bothers me.

    But then Bobby Knight, the seeming sadist of sadists among college hoope coaches, famously had one of the best graduation rates ever for his players. Curious, no? Surely certain to rile poor old Courson.

  21. Cro – I’ll tell you a story about John Wooden that I can sum up in a brief paragraph or two.

    Prior to being hired by UCLA in 1948, he was the head basketball and baseball coach as well as AD at Indiana State Univ. He was heavily pursued for the head coaching job at the Univ. of Minnesota, a position that he and his beloved wife Nellie coveted due to their Midwestern roots and strong desire to remain there. As it so happened, power outage due to a snowstorm in Minnesota prevented him from receiving the scheduled phone offer. Believing that they had lost interest in him as a candidate, he accepted the head coaching job at UCLA instead. Officials from the Univ. of Minnesota contacted him right after he accepted the position at UCLA, but he declined their offer because he had given his word to coach the Bruins, again even though it was his first choice and the salary was higher. He never looked back.

    That my friend, is a man of his word; a man to be respected. Above all, even more than being a basketball coach, John Wooden was first and foremost a teacher; a teacher of ethics, and discipline, and moral integrity. Oh, and by the way, he never used profanity either on or off the court and prohibited his players from doing so; just ask Jabbar or Walton or Goodrich or Wicks. Unlike this so-called head basketball coach Mike Rice, who walked in the very long shadow of the greatest, I won’t say college basketball coach, or even basketball coach, dare I say, greatest coach ever, bullied, demeaned, and hurled homophobic barbs at his players. He ought to be ashamed that he worked in the same profession as the “Wizard of Westwood.”

  22. You really are a dolt, cathar.

    I spent my “basic” with the Royal Navy, and it wasn’t pleasant. Just as your army experience might not have been. But that’s the point, They don’t do that anymore. Maybe in part because they’ve looked at folks like you and realized that it produces dimwits.

    You would do well to wake the F up and stop making a jackass out of yourself at every opportunity.

  23. Thanks silver. Walton told a story about how he came back to campus after his sophomore year and met Wooden whilst walking across campus. “Practice starts next week, Bill”, said the coach, “Better cut your hair.” Walton says, “No coach. What happens if I don’t?”.
    Wooden says to the most talented player in the country, “Well, I guess you’ll be the best intramural player on campus.”

    Bill reported, shorn, to practice three weeks later.

  24. Read the book The Junction Boys, don’t bother with the movie it doesn’t even come close to describe the abuse Bear Bryant unleashed on these kids.

    BTW- Junction Boy alumnus Jack Pardee passed away this past Monday April 1st.

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