Rutgers fired Mike Rice, the coach of its men’s basketball team, yesterday, a day after a video surfaced showing him berating his players during practices, throwing balls at them, kicking them and taunting them with slurs.
Rice’s termination comes nearly four months after the university’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, suspended him for three games and fined him $50,000, with little elaboration. Yesterday Pernetti called that decision a mistake and said that he would “work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
Rutgers announced Rice’s termination on its Twitter account yesterday morning, saying, “Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice.”
On Tuesday ESPN broadcast video from practices from 2010 to 2012 that showed Rice’s conduct at practices. The video went viral, putting scrutiny on Rutgers and prompting the university to take further action.
Rice told reporters outside his home yesterday that he apologized “for the pain and hardship that I’ve caused.”
“I’ve let so many people down. My players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who’s sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them.
“It’s troubling, but I will at some time, maybe I’ll try to explain it, but right now, there’s no explanation for what’s on those films. Because there is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me that I’m deeply sorry.”
Louisville’s Ware to attend Final Four
Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware will travel to the Final Four on his crutches and expects to be a big presence for the Cardinals.
Cleared by doctors to accompany Louisville to Atlanta, the sophomore said that he plans to be a full participant in the team’s preparation for Saturday’s game against Wichita State.
“After we win the national championship,” Ware said. “I’m just looking forward to rehab.” Ware said the overwhelming support he has received has helped him maintain his spirits and strengthened his confidence of a full recovery.
Minnesota agrees to hire Pitino’s son
Minnesota confirmed that Richard Pitino — son of Rick Pitino — has reached an agreement to be the Gophers’ next coach in a high-risk, high-reward hire to replace former coach Tubby Smith.Pitino, who led Florida International this season in his first year of head coaching experience, is just 30 years old, less than half the age of Smith, and the youngest of any Minnesota coach since the Gophers’ original basketball coach in 1897.In his lone season at Florida International, Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school’s first winning season in 13 years.
Smith, who was fired last week after six seasons at Minnesota, was hired at Texas Tech on Monday.The terms of the contract with Minnesota are still currently unknown, but Pitino will certainly increase his FIU salary.
Former NBA player Reggie Theus was named coach at Cal State Northridge. He has been coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA’s D-League since October 2011. Theus coached at New Mexico State from 2005-07 and was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2003-05. • Kansas freshman Anrio Adams has been granted a release to transfer to another school in what Jayhawks coach Bill Self characterized as an amicable parting of ways.