Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice in trouble again as video shows him abusing players

Rutgers men´s basketball coach Mike Rice. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)
Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

It's been known for a while that Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice has a hot temper. A well-known such outburst resulted in Rice being suspended three games and fined $50,000 this past December.

Now new evidence has emerged to show that Rice's behavior wasn't just a one-off occurence. Instead, Rice is shown to have engaged in a sustained pattern of such behavior between 2010 and 2012.

ESPN reported Tuesday afternoon that it has obtained dozens of hours of tape of Rice's practices, and that the footage shows Rice frequently abusing his players. On clips shown during Tuesday's "Outside The Lines" show, Rice is seen throwing basketballs at players and shouting at them.

According to ESPN, there were plenty of unprintable epithets in those shouts. Rice also shoved, grabbed and kicked his players at times.

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One of Rice's assistants, Jimmy Martelli, is also seen engaging with players on footage shown to ESPN. Martelli is the son of Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, and Rice was an assistant on Hawk Hill from 2004 to 2006.

Another protagonist in the affair is Eric Murdock, the Rutgers basketball program's former director of player development. Murdock reportedly showed some tape of incidents involving Rice to Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti before he was fired last July.

In an interview with ESPN, Murdock's attorney accused Rutgers of firing his client because of his reporting of Rice's conduct, and said that a wrongful termination lawsuit is forthcoming.

Once word emerged that ESPN had the tape, Rutgers' athletic department showed footage to a group of reporters, including some from the Newark Star-Ledger.

There are more details of what appeared on the tape from ESPN.com here and the Star-Ledger here. There's also a video below with highlights from the "Outside The Lines" broadcast.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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