Rutgers Basketball Head Coach Fired For Inappropriate Behavior Toward Players [VIDEO]
Wednesday morning Mike Rice was relieved of his duties as the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Rutgers. Video tapes from practices of the team surfaced Tuesday and spread like wildfire. These videos showed Rice berating players with physical and verbal abuse.
When I first saw the video, I was livid. Not only as a mother, but also as a sports fan.
As a mother, this makes me mad for obvious reasons. These parents are trusting the coaching staff to protect and guide their children. Most college athletes attend school far away from their hometown. And, we can't forget that these young men and women are teenagers for the first year or two of college. So, their team and coaching staff becomes their family. To have a person, especially the head coach, misuse that trust, is very disturbing. I can only imagine what these parents felt watching Rice kick, throw balls at, push and verbally abuse their children.
As a sports fan, it makes me mad too. I had the pleasure of working in the Men's Basketball office for three years while attending Western Kentucky. I saw first-hand how hard these players work, day in and day out. I know how much pressure is put on them to perform not only in the classroom, but on the court as well. I remember how jam-packed their schedule was; weights at 6am, breakfast at 7am, class until 2pm, practice at 3pm, dinner at 6pm, study hall at 7pm. The live and breathe the sport that they are playing. For many, the opportunity to attend college is based solely on athletics. This is their one chance to become something better than what they came from. I can't imagine what they endured on a daily basis.
I'm sure some of you are asking, "Why didn't the players say anything?". Well, I think that goes back to the fact that some may be afraid to lose their scholarship or future opportunities. This is their head coach, what he says goes. Not to mention the fact that the assistant coaches saw every bit of it.
Former WKU standout and current player for the CB Breogan in Spain Anthony Winchester tweeted yesterday regarding the situation:
Rutgers (finally) did this right thing and fired Mike Rice. It still bothers me that the Athletic Director was tipped off to this behavior last November by a former employee and only suspended and fined him and made him attend anger management classes. Seriously?!?! That's all that he thought was necessary?? At least now, those players can focus on school and basketball, not on whether or not they'll get a Wilson upside the head in practice.