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COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Video shows Rutgers coach verbally, physically abusing players

A video released Tuesday shows why, exactly, Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, center, was suspended three games last year. He’s seen throwing a basketball at a player’s head, calling a player a homophobic slur and what appears to be kicking a player.

A video released Tuesday shows why, exactly, Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, center, was suspended three games last year. He’s seen throwing a basketball at a player’s head, calling a player a homophobic slur and what appears to be kicking a player.

Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was suspended for three games and fined last December when hours of video showed him verbally and physically abusing his players, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The footage aired for the first time on Outside The Lines, showing Rice throwing a basketball at a player’s head, calling a player a homophobic slur and what appears to be kicking a player.

Eric Murdock, a former director of basketball development at Rutgers, complained to Pernetti about Rice’s actions. His contract was not renewed last year.

“To witness that video and see your coach physically putting his hands on players, physically kicking players, firing balls at players at point-blank range, the verbal abuse, the belittling.” Murdock said.

“Yeah, I was in total shock that this guy wasn’t fired.”

Murdock said three players had since transferred because of the abuse, which was documented on videos from 2010-12.

Tim Pernetti, the Rutgers athletics director, investigated incidents, which he said took hundreds of hours in interviews with people around the program. He said the length of the suspension and a $50,000 fine was appropriate on Dec.13 because it was Rice’s first offense.

“Honestly, we’ve dealt with this issue,” Pernetti said Tuesday. “When I became aware of this in November, within 24 hours we had the investigation underway. Now I became aware of it in a meeting. I took the DVD with me. I met with Mike later in the day.

“We started the investigation. Within that two-week period we made the determination on what we were going to do. I would tell you that all options were on the table at that time.”

Murdock, 44, who is a former Rutgers player, intends to sue the school for wrongful termination, according to his attorney, Raj Gadhok.

“Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice,” Gadhok said. “As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University. That is unlawful in the state of New Jersey and Eric intends to pursue legal action for his wrongful termination, which the university and its representatives have been aware of for some time now. We have no further comment at this time.”

g Ware leaves hospital, arrives on campus: Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware returned to campus on Tuesday afternoon after he was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Ware underwent surgery on Sunday to repair a compound fracture in his right leg that shocked and saddened players and spectators during the first half of Louisville’s 85-63 Midwest Regional victory over Duke on Sunday. The horrific injury occurred when Ware landed after a leaping attempt to block a shot.

When he arrived home Tuesday in Louisville carrying the regional championship trophy that coach Rick Pitino left in his hospital room, his first stop was the team’s practice center.

The Cardinals are preparing to face Wichita State in the Final Four on Saturday in Atlanta without Ware, one of their top reserves.

Ware is an Atlanta-area native and hopes to travel with the team to the Final Four on Wednesday. He’s awaiting final clearance from doctors to make the trip.

Before leaving the hospital on crutches, Ware posted a picture on Twitter and wrote: “Back to my brothers I go.”


Pac-12 won’t act against official who offered cash to give technical foul to Arizona coach

The Pacific 12 Conference investigated comments made by coordinator of basketball officials Ed Rush in meetings with referees about Arizona coach Sean Miller but determined that no punitive action was necessary.

CBSSports.com reported that Rush, a former NBA referee, told Pac-12 referees twice at the conference tournament in March in Las Vegas that he would give $5,000 to anyone who “rang him up” or “ran him,” referring to giving Miller a technical or ejecting him from a game.

“He was emphatic about not dealing with (Miller),” an unnamed referee told CBSSports.com. “He made that perfectly clear.”

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told CBSSports.com that he reviewed Rush’s comments and said Rush was merely joking.

“We have concluded that while Rush made inappropriate comments that he now regrets during internal meetings that referenced rewards, he made the comments in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers,” Scott said. “Following our review, we have discussed the matter with Rush, taken steps to ensure it does not happen again, and communicated our findings to all of our officials.”

Referee Michael Irving whistled Miller for a technical with 4:37 left in a Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA after he complained about a double-dribble call on Arizona point guard Mark Lyons. The Bruins went on to win the game 66-64.

The Pac-12 reprimanded Miller and fined $25,000 for confronting a referee afterward and also for his behavior toward a conference staff member. Miller contended that he merely repeated to the ref that the ball was touched on the disputed call.

Rush refused to comment other than to tell CBSSports.com: “Larry’s made a statement. I’m in concert with what he said. We’re going to move on from there.”

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year ago

It's NEW JERSEY for pete sake. What did you expect???

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