JOE BIDDLE: Rutgers coach way out of bounds

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 3, 2014 (Image 1)

I originally intended to write a column on the recent basketball coaching hires, where coaches such as Florida Gulf Coast University coach Andy Enfield parlayed his team's NCAA Tournament success into the head coaching position at Southern Cal.

Mike Rice changed my mind.

Here is a coach no college, university, high school or YMCA should hire. Ever.

Mike Rice is Rutgers' basketball coach. Rice is an angry man. He is an out of control coach who physically and verbally abuses his players.

Seeing is believing. I invite you to watch the videotape that shows Rice doing all of the above. It was shown on ESPN's Outside the Lines program and is on the ESPN website.

It was appropriate Rice's story aired on Outside the Lines. That title perfectly describes Rice's coaching tactics.
From what I saw, Rice is a younger Bobby Knight on training wheels.

Like Knight, Rice has been thrown out of games, his anger evident in his face.

In practices, the video shows Rice grabbing his players. He shoves and pushes them. Kicks them. He fires basketball at them at point blank range. The basketballs hit the players in the face, the head, all over the body, including one the video shows, in the privates.

He cusses them, calls them vulgar names, homophobic names. His anger boils. When confronted with the video evidence last November, Rutgers Athletics Director Tim Pernetti suspended Rice three days, including taking Rice's salary during that time and forbidding him to have any contact with the program during the suspension.

Pernetti also fined Rice $50,000, and going forward made Rice take anger management and sensitivity lessons.

Pernetti referred to the penalties, as steps intended “to re-educate'' Rice.

I'm all for giving second chances. Mike Rice doesn't deserve to be around young people. Coaches are supposed to be role models. Rice is anything but a role model. He is an out of control lout.

I don't pretend to know how long Rice has acted in this manner. A number of players have left the program. Only Rice and players he has abused can answer that. Some have come forward. All who have been on the wrong end of Rice's wrath should step up and step forward.

Maybe the pressure to win got to Rice. In his third season, his team lost 13 of its last 17 games. He has had three losing seasons in the tough Big East Conference.
A former Rutgers assistant coach says Rice would hide his anger and outbursts while Pernetti attended practices. Once Pernetti left, Rice returned to being the Jekyll-Hyde creep he is.

This guy needs to go. It's a miracle he is still employed at Rutgers. To retain him spits in the face of the NCAA's insistence that athletes be referred to as student-athletes. No school would hire, or keep, a teacher/professor who treated their students in the manner Rice treats his athletes.

Why would any parent who saw this video, entrust their child to Rice? It would be a four-year jail sentence, not four years of working hard to improve and coming together as a team. Bonding. Having fun. Hopefully winning.

Rice and his wife have a young teenage son. How would Rice like it if he saw a coach treat his son the way Rice abuses his players?

“Mike coaches with an edge,'' Pernetti said. “That personality is ideal for our program here in New Jersey.''

“In New Jersey?'' What should we read into that?

Should we expect the Mafia to send some goons to deal with Rutgers players who aren't perfect in practice and games?

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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