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April 3, 2013

Mike Hamilton>>That guy at Rutgers about to be fired

The non-sense at Rutgers has the makings of a fun deposition. To catch you up, Mike Rice, the head basketball coach at Rutgers newest wholesale food salesman in Piscataway, got suspended and fined during this past season for poor behavior at practice. Then there was video.

Now, second guessing is one thing, and Rutgers AD Tim Pernotgonnaworkhermuchlonger appropriately took the blame
But after watching the video (which admittedly was put together off of many hours of practice), you have to wonder, how different is this from other programs? Other sports? Did Rice step over the line? Absolutely.  However, some of what I saw wasn't that different from what I've personally seen. Now, those things weren't constant, nor were they done in a manner to intentionally degrade, but I've seen basketballs thrown at players, I've been grabbed by the jersey and pushed into position or to the side line, I've been yelled at and called names. Rice's problem is that he used physicality as a method of coaching instead of as an occasional attention getter. I'm not saying it is appropriate. And yes, I realize there are probably criminal matters and the poor choice of derogatory names Rice's players dealt with, but I'm saying if I've seen it, it isn't the first time they've seen it.

Rutgers' problem is one of PR (until the lawsuits). Pernetti's problem isn't that he kept Rice. As a former media guy, you can bet he careful evaluated how the program and his own personal reputation would be evaluated in light of keeping Rice versus firing him. For better or worse, Pernetti felt the juice was worth the squeeze.

Pernetti's problem is that they fired the guy that reported it and didn't lock up practice video; or try to stay in front of the story by personally apologizing and releasing some of the video, enrolling Rice in off season anger management, anything to show they weren't trying to cover up. 'Cause that is what is going to look terrible in court. Public opinion and legal.

TD

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