Rutgers University fired Mike Rice, its head men’s basketball coach, on Wednesday, the day after a video broadcast by ESPN showed the coach shoving his players, throwing balls at them, and screaming obscenities during practice. The video prompted widespread calls for Mr. Rice and Tim Pernetti, athletic director at the university, to be dismissed. It also drew a rebuke from New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie.
Mr. Pernetti suspended Mr. Rice for three games last year and fined him $50,000 for what was described at the time as the coach’s “inappropriate behavior and language.”
Rutgers said in a written statement on Wednesday that it had terminated Mr. Rice’s contract “based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues.” The coach had two years remaining in a five-year deal.
Mr. Pernetti said that he had been responsible for what he called the decision to “attempt a rehabilitation” of the coach. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December, and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong,” he added. “Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
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