Rutgers Bball Coach Cusses Out, Physically Assaults Players

Source: Don Van Natta Jr. / ESPN

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — In several dozen hours of video of Rutgers men’s basketball practices obtained by “Outside the Lines,” coach Mike Rice is seen hurling basketballs from close range at his players’ heads, legs and feet; shoving and grabbing his players; feigning punching them; kicking them; and screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs.

The video shows practices from 2010-12. About 30 minutes of the video was viewed in December by athletic director Tim Pernetti, who suspended Rice for three games that month and fined him $50,000. But the incidents in the videos obtained by “Outside the Lines” appear to go beyond Pernetti’s description at the time, when he cited “inappropriate behavior and language” between Rice and his players. When he announced the suspension on Dec. 13, Pernetti offered few specifics after conducting a week-long investigation.

In addition to Rice’s physical actions seen in the practices, Rice calls Rutgers players “f—-ts,” “m—–f—–s,” “p—–s,” “sissy b—–s,” and “c—s,” among other epithets.

Eric Murdock, an ex-NBA player and a former director of player development for the Scarlet Knights, told “Outside the Lines” that Rice’s “outrageous” behavior had caused at least three players to transfer from the team, including forward Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island prior to last season.

Murdock, a 44-year-old, nine-year NBA veteran, was fired by Rice and Pernetti in early July. Murdock’s attorney, Raj Gadhok, said Tuesday that Murdock intends to sue Rutgers for wrongful termination as early as Friday. “Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice,” Gadhok said. “As a result, his employment was terminated by Rutgers University. That is unlawful in the state of New Jersey and Eric intends to pursue legal action for his wrongful termination, which the university and its representatives have been aware of for some time now. We have no further comment at this time.”

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