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Rutgers, Pernetti fire Rice after video release
Question of the Day
Pernetti said his decision to only suspend Rice was made in part because the coach was remorseful. Rice had a reputation as being “a fiery guy with an edge” before coming to Rutgers and Pernetti said the two talked about it for five hours before he was hired.
“He convinced me he understood his reputation, but he also understood where the line was,” Pernetti said. “I made clear to him if he crossed the line he would be held accountable.”
That might not be enough in the wake of the video made by Eric Murdock, the former NBA player who was hired by Rice to be director of player development.
The two had a falling out over Murdock’s appearances at a camp, and Pernetti said Murdock’s contract was not renewed. Murdock, who said he was fired, then compiled the video, splicing together the practice lowlights of Rice’s first three years as coach.
Pernetti said about 60 percent of the incidents happened in Rice’s first season. He also was upset with Rice using a certain gay slur at a university where student Tyler Clementi committed suicide after a roommate used a webcam to see him kissing a man.
“I would tell you that that word was at the core of the suspension,” Pernetti said. “It absolutely concerns me. It’s not acceptable.”
This is another in a long line of embarrassing incidents regarding this program. Rutgers had to fire Hill, Jr., just before hiring Rice because the former acted inappropriately at a Rutgers baseball game that his father, Fred, Sr., was coaching. And Hill replaced Gary Waters, who missed a home game because he was snowbound in Ohio after being honored the night before by Kent State.
Before all of that, Kevin Bannon was fired after questionable practice decisions regarding his players. Bannon ordered two Scarlet Knights and two student managers to run sprints naked during a foul-shooting contest. Both of them later transferred from the school.
The Scarlet Knights haven’t qualified for the NCAA tournament since 1991.
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