‘Fired’ Could Be Next F-Word For Rutgers Coach Seen Berating Players

Watch ESPN’s report and see if you agree with the growing chorus of voices calling for Rutgers University men’s basketball coach Mike Rice to be fired.

Among the hundreds of hours of practice video that ESPN’s Outside the Lines obtained are disturbing scenes showing the 44-year-old Rice “shoving, grabbing and throwing basketballs at players during practice and yelling gay slurs at them,” as The Associated Press says.

Rutgers has known about Rice’s behavior for months. In December, the school suspended him for three games and he was fined $50,000. Now, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is on record as saying he’s “deeply disturbed” by what he’s seen. And Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi has summed up what needs to happen this way:

“Mike Rice has to go. Get that out of the way first, because this is the easiest decision to fire a college coach since Ohio State football legend Woody Hayes reared back and punched a player.

“If athletic director Tim Pernetti doesn’t snap out of this bizarre spin cycle and make that decision, then somebody at Rutgers – be it the university president, or a group of powerful alumni, or Gov. Chris Christie himself who weighed in late Tuesday with a damning statement – will make it for him.”

The AP reports that Pernetti says the school is reconsidering its decision not to fire Rice. Rice came to Rutgers before the 2010-11 season, after three years ast the coach at Robert Morris University. His five-year contract runs through the 2014-15 season, according to the university.

What should Rutgers do? (We’ll keep the question open until noon ET.)

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