Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice fired after video of player abuse surfaces

    7:19 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CBS) -- Rutgers University is trying to contain a scandal involving its basketball program. The school has just fired coach Mike Rice and a video surfaced that shows why.

    New video shows coach Mike Rice at team practices shoving his players, hurling balls at them and shouting insults.

    Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti first saw the clips back in November. He suspended rice for three games, and fined him $50,000. But on Tuesday ESPN aired the video and outrage followed fast.

    Wednesday morning the Rutgers Athletic Office released a statement saying, "Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice."

    Critics wondered why the athletic director didn't take action immediately. Sports Illustrated senior writer Andy Staples says, "The fact that he didn't see the video and 10 seconds later say, 'This is gonna be a P-R disaster, I gotta get rid of this guy,' calls into question his common sense."

    As the video circulated, Miami Heat star Lebron James tweeted on Tuesday, "If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do...." and New Jersey governor Chris Christie weighed in, saying he was deeply disturbed by the conduct.

    The athletic director said rice worked hard to improve his behavior. He said in a radio interview, "He knew exactly what he screwed up and what he did wrong."

    But as outrage spread, that wasn't enough to save his job.

    The practice videos were turned over by the former director of player development, who had a falling out with the coach.

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