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NC State coach on Rice fallout: Coach hard, but hands off players

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice's verbally and physically abusive behavior that led to his firing Wesnesday morning after ESPN released footage of his practices can be a reminder for coaches, NC State football coach Dave Doeren said:

Players want to be coached hard, they want to be disciplined, but "you can't put your hands on a person. You just can't."

"You're going to have 'F' words at every practice -- that happens in college football," Doeren said. "You can't expect a guy in this profession not to swear. You need to correct problems, and the language we use to correct them is important. You have to coach the problem, not the person.”

Rice coached the person when he directed homophobic slurs toward players and threw basketballs at them as if he was playing dodgeball.

Doeren, hired from Northern Illinois in December, said he has seen questionable practice behavior from coaches during an assistant coaching career that included stops at Montana, Kansas and Wisconsin.

But he believes increased transparency has quelled the problem for the most part.

Doeren said he saw the ESPN-Rice footage while in the NC State facility this week but couldn't hear the sound.

"There are things that happen on a daily basis where, in the heat of a moment as a coach, there are going to be arguments and heated moments," Doeren said. "At the same time, you want to be as 'prof' as you can as much as possible.

"I don't know that coach, but obviously he's been good at what he does or he wouldn't have been there. I'm sure there are a billion examples of him doing a good job, too. They caught him in probably his worst moment. He's going to pay for a bad situation.”

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