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VIDEO: Rutgers' Mike Rice throws balls, curses at players in practice

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Rutgers coach Mike Rice was suspended three games and fined earlier this season for behavior in practice that, frankly, seems a fireable offense. The video above will reignite the calls for Rice to lose his job, too.

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ESPN obtained the video, the hours and hours of practice footage, which have been edited down to their worst parts. Rice can be seen hurling balls at players' heads, cursing them out and even using homophobic slurs. On Tuesday, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti went on ESPN's Outside the Lines to explain his stance on keeping Rice on staff and give background on how the university handled the situation.

"I saw all of it," Pernetti said of the now-infamous videotape. "None of that behavior is acceptable under any circumstance at Rutgers."

Yet Pernetti indicated no lean toward re-examining Rice's employment.

"This was a very difficult situation for everybody the moment we became aware of the video in November," Pernetti said. "We immediately commenced an independent investigation into the matter. ... [It] was not ignored."

But Eric Murdock, who used to work at Rutgers, told ESPN that he notified the university of Rice's problematic practice behavior dating back to last summer. Pernetti's sticking point was that he and others in power at Rutgers did not see the video until last November. The case against Rice came about because of Murdock, a former NBA player who was Rutgers' director of player development under Rice before his contract wasn't renewed after two seasons on Rutgers' staff.

"I was totally shocked this guy wasn't fired immediately on the spot," Murdock told ESPN.

Since the suspension, Rice has been mandated to undergo anger-management counseling and has been under strict monitoring, according to Pernetti.

"I did not have a line out my door of players, coaches, anybody complaining about the matter," Pernetti said Tuesday, adding, "It's not acceptable to the Rutgers standard."

Calling it a "first offense," Pernetti said if something "even within a sniff of it" were to occur again, there would be "worse consequences."

Rice is 44-51 in three seasons at Rutgers.

 
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