PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers has fired basketball coach Mike Rice after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs during practice.
The videotape, broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, has prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie. The head of the New Jersey Assembly called for Rice to be fired.
With mounting criticism on a state and national level, the school decided to take action on Wednesday, relieving Rice of his duties after three largely unsuccessful seasons at the Big East school. There will be a national search to replace him.
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in November. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, he suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000.
Statement from Rutgers University:
Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice.
“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. “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.”