Rutgers will fire coach Mike Rice less than 24 hours after his practice misconduct video entered the public domain. Athletic director Tim Pernetti announced slightly after 10 a.m., that Rice would be removed from his position as head men's basketball coach.
"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Pernetti said. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
Pernetti told reporters Tuesday afternoon that Rice’s job was safe and that punishment had already been dealt -- a three-week suspension and $50,000 fine. But as the day progressed, Pernetti admitted to re-evaluating the situation.
A meeting between Rice and Pernetti will take place later today.
The public backlash from Rice came from all directions and portrayed the university in an extremely negative light. Rutgers received criticism spanning from New Jersey governor Chris Christie to NBA star LeBron James.
The full video, viewed by ScarletReport.com Tuesday afternoon, is a compilation of misconduct during Rice’s three years at Rutgers and centers around his first season with the program.
Rice is verbally abusive to players in the video and is physically abusive.
Rice’s use of two gay slurs at a player, however, is the driving force behind public backlash and Rice’s dismissal.
“I'll tell you this about certain words that were used, they're unacceptable," Pernetti said yesterday. "If you use them once, it's once too many. Rutgers is one of the most diverse universities in the world. It's something we pride ourselves on. It's absolutely unacceptable. There is no circumstance under which it is acceptable. It's a big, important part of the reason why Mike paid and is continuing to pay, quite frankly, such a heavy penalty."