By no everyone has sen the disturbing footage of Rutgers head basketball coach Mike Rice firing basketballs at his players, kicking his players, shoving his players, and launching homosexual slurs at his players. Rice was suspended in December for three games and fined $50,000. At the time, nobody had seen the footage of what went on at basketball practice. This week, the video came out. And it was appalling.
How was this allowed to go on for so long? Where were the assistant coaches? Where was the Athletic Director? Why did no players or former players report this?
The answers to those questions are a bit complicated. Rutgers just gained admittance into the Big Ten Conference. A scandal of this magnitude could have de-railed admittance into the conference. So Rutgers covered this up. That is the only explanation.
Looking at the video, this was such a no-brainer that there can be no other explanation. Let’s forget about the physical abuse for a second. Calling players names that would offend a segment of the population is always an offense to be fired for. Who could keep a job after calling underlings offensive slurs? Rutgers is a state university. Homosexuals are tax-paying citizens that put money into the Rutgers piggy bank. You cannot do that and keep your job.
Now add to this firing basketballs at the heads of the players, kicking them and shoving them. If someone did that out on the street he could be charged with assault and battery. How is there even a discussion on whether or not to fire the coach? This was as egregious as any action anyone can recall from a coach not named Jerry Sandusky.
The fact that Rutgers made this call after watching what happened to Joe Paterno and Penn State football is really amazing. Not only should the A.D be fired, but also the school president. And, the Big Ten should really think long and hard about not letting Rutgers join. Will they have the guts to turn their backs on the New York City market? Probably not, but they should.
It is obvious the decisions made by the Rutgers administration were made with the Big Ten in mind. They were not willing to do the right thing if it jeopardized the school’s joining the conference. This may not be Penn State covering up a known pedophile’s crimes to not tarnish the football program, but it is not that far away. Shame on all involved