Rutgers head basketball coach Mike Rice was fired Wednesday morning after video was released the day before that showed him throwing basketballs at players, pushing them and using offensive language.
The video was aired on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" and it shows a nasty side of Rice. It even prompted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and members of the state's assembly to call for his termination.
Rice, in an impromptu news conference outside his home, apologized "for the pain and hardship" his actions caused.
"There will never be a time when I use any of that as an excuse," he said. "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 that their father was an embarrassment to them. It's troubling, but I will, at some time, maybe I'll try to explain it, -- but right now, there's no explanation for what's on those films because there is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry."
A former employee gave Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti a copy of the video in late November. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, Pernetti suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes. University president Robert Barchi also saw the tape and signed off on the initial punishment.
Yet, after the public outcry that broke out in the last 24 hours, Pernetti decided to fire Rice. The questions now are: Will the athletic director be next and how widespread is the problem?
Former NBA player John Amaechi said, "You can walk on any sideline almost anywhere in America or Britain, on any given weekend and see similar behaviors."
FOX 9 News spoke with Ken Pauly, head coach of hockey at Benilde-St. Margaret's, about the delicate balance coaches must maintain when trying to get through to players.
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