Comment
0
Tweet
0
Print
RSS Feeds

Statements from Rutgers, governor, Rice on firing

Wednesday - 4/3/2013, 1:28pm  ET

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2012, file photo, Rutgers coach Mike Rice reacts to play during an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut in Piscataway, N.J. The airing Tuesday, April 2, 2013, of a videotape of Rice using gay slurs, shoving and grabbing his players and throwing balls at them in practice over the past three seasons has Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti reconsidering his decision not to fire the coach. Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a disgruntled former employee, and he suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and made him undergo anger management classes for inappropriate behavior after investigating it. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

The Associated Press

"As I stated three months ago after I watched the video how deeply regrettable those actions (were). I also stated I was going to try to work on changing. I think I've accomplished a lot of that.

I can't say anything right now except I'm sorry and there will never be a time where I'm going to use any of that as an excuse or there will be any excuse. 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 their father was an embarrassment to them.

It's troubling, but at some time maybe I'll try to explain it. But right now there's no explanation for what's on those films. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I've caused." -- Fired Rutgers coach Mike Rice.

___

"This was a regrettable episode for the University, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice. It was the right and necessary action to take in light of the conduct displayed on the videotape.

"Parents entrust their sons to the Rutgers Athletic Department and the men's basketball program at an incredibly formative period of their lives. The way these young men were treated by the head coach was completely unacceptable and violates the trust those parents put in Rutgers University. All of the student-athletes entrusted to our care deserve much better.

"As we move on from this incident, I am very optimistic that Rutgers will select a new head coach who not only puts a winning team on the court, but will make everyone proud of the example he sets every day for the young men in his charge." -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

___

"Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation's most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice's abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university's core values.

When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel. The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator's findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored. Tim Pernetti also made it clear to Coach Rice that there would be zero tolerance for additional infractions. Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.

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. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University. Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice's employment at Rutgers." -- Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi.

___

"I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice. 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. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community." -- Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.