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Rutgers fires basketball coach over abuse, taunts

April 3, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Jan. 2, 2013 file photo, Rutgers head coach Mike Rice reacts after Syracuse scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y. Rutgers has fired Rice after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs during practice. With mounting criticism on a state and national level, the school decided to take action on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. relieving Rice of his duties after three largely unsuccessful seasons at the Big East school. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli, File)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Once the video went viral, Mike Rice’s coaching days at Rutgers were over.

Now the question is whether anyone else will lose their jobs — including the athletic director who in December suspended and fined Rice for the abusive behavior, and the university president who signed off on it.

Rice was fired Wednesday, one day after a video surfaced of him hitting, shoving and berating his players with anti-gay slurs. The taunts were especially troubling behavior at Rutgers, where freshman student Tyler Clementi killed himself in 2010 after his roommate used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man in his dorm.

It also came at an especially embarrassing time for the NCAA, with the country focused on the Final Four basketball tournament this weekend.

Rice, in his third season with the Scarlet Knights, apologized outside his home in Little Silver, N.J.

“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 their father was an embarrassment to them,” he said. “I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I’ve caused.”

Athletic Director Tim Pernetti was Login to read more

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