Rutgers University has fired men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, one day after ESPN aired video of Rice hurling basketballs and shouting gay slurs at his players.
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said he considered firing Rice back in December when he first viewed the footage. Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000, and required to seek help for anger management.
It was public outcry that led to his firing, points out Anna Aagenes, Executive Director of GO! Athletes, the first national organization for lesbian, gay, and transgender student athletes.
“The fans and the families and people all across the country said enough is enough. This is terrible. This isn’t just a coach motivating players. This is homophobic. This is xenophobic, and a three game suspension not enough.
University President Robert Barchi said in a written statement he had “reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility, and public accountability.”
Barchi said he made the decision to release Rice together with athletic director Tim Pernetti.
He said they chose to suspend Rice last year, based on advice from an independent investigator. Barchi said he changed his mind after viewing the video yesterday.