Rutgers University has fired its men’s basketball coach Mike Rice following a video clip of him shouting anti-gay abuse at players went viral. The video showed Coach Rice calling players “fairy” and “faggot” while he was also physically abusive to them.
Rutgers acted quickly to remove Rice on Wednesday after public outrage ensued over his behavior. This comes just four months after the university’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, suspended the former coach for three games and fined him $50,000 for an unknown indiscretion.
“Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice,” tweeted Rutgers Athletics Wednesday morning.
After the footage was first posted Tuesday, Rice received sharp criticism, including some from Miami Heat ace LeBron James.
“If my son played for a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gone whoop on him afterwards. C’mon,” James said in a tweet.
Pernetti explained that he opted to reprimand Rice several months ago in an attempt to “rehabilitate” him.
“Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interests of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community,” said Pernetti in a statement on the team website.
University President Robert Barchi described Rice’s actions as “disturbing” and that he clearly was no longer fit to lead the team.
“Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior. I have now 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” said Barchi in a statement.