US: Video shows homophobic and physical abuse by basketball coach who will remain in post
The basketball coach at a New Jersey University has been disciplined, has remained in his job, and is unlikely to face further action, despite the surfacing of video footage in which he subjects players to homophobic and physical abuse.
Mike Rice, the basketball coach at Rutgers University was suspended for three games, was fined $50,000 (£33,000), and was made to undergo management classes in December, but will remain in his job, said Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, according to reports by the Newark Star Ledger.
The video, passed on to Pernetti by Eric Murdock, former director of player development, shows Rice swearing and throwing basketballs at players’ heads, shoving, kicking and grabbing them on the basketball court.
The tape also shows him calling a player a “fairy”, and using the word “faggot”, whilst aggressively reprimanding players.
Pernetti released the tape to reporters after he discovered ESPN was planning to air portions of it during its programme Outside the Lines.
He said that Rice would remain as basketball coach at the college, except in the case of any additional incidents.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had seen the footage, and described that he was “deeply disturbed” by it, said his Press Secretary Michael Drewniak.
“Governor Christie strongly condemns this behavior,” said Drewniak. “It’s not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University.”
Eric Murdock’s contract was not renewed last year, and his attorney, Raj Gadhok said on Tuesday that he plans to sue the college for wrongful termination, reports ESPN.
“Mr. Murdock was terminated for having complained of and reported illegal conduct by Mike Rice,” Gadhok said.