Letters Extra: Exploding Rice just a symptom

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Tim Pernetti (right) is out as Rutgers' athletic director in the wake of the firing of men's basketball coach Mike Rice (left). (Rich Schultz/AP file photo)

As much shame and disgrace deserve to be heaped upon former Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice, it goes double for the once-esteemed and presitigous institution which continued to employ him after it learned of the appalling manner in which Rice meted out physical and emotional abuse to the impressionable, young men who were his players.

Rice pocketed a tidy, six figures last year, and remained employed after his actions came to light. Why? Because character counts for little in today's world, particularly in the realm of sports.

Rice, caught by reporters outside his home and compelled to comment on his status and conduct, acknowledged that he was "wrong". He did not say that he is a failed human being.

Those upon whom Mike Rice took out his rage, like others that are treated like trash by authority figures, are faced with loss of self-esteem after being "motivated" to perform through the damaging actions of a thug.

Our society needs to take a long, hard look at our priorities, where we stand, and where we are going.

When college sports programs are deemed the most important facet of a student's education, when a coach is one of the highest paid individuals at a university and highly sought-after, our priorities are cockeyed.

Oren M. Spiegler, Upper Saint Claire

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