Earlier this year, Rutgers fined their men’s head basketball coach Mike Rice a reported $50,000 and suspended him for three games following published reports Rice had used his student-athletes’ skulls for target practice, as well as claims of “inappropriate language”. Sadly for Rice, the story isn’t going away after video footage of the coach’s hands-on approach to teaching (above) was shown to reporters earlier today. As the Newark Star-Ledger’s Tom Lucci explains, releasing the video was a preemptive strike on the part of Rutgers, who learned ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” planned to air the footage this coming Sunday.
The tape surfaced after former director of player development Eric Murdock did not have his contract renewed a year ago.
“We didn’t produce this tape,” Pernetti said. “This tape was produced by Eric Murdock’s attorneys. This is, as far as we understand, the tape in ESPN’s possession right now.”
In the ESPN report, Murdock claims to have made Pernetti aware of Rice’s behavior as early as last July. The tape shown today, Pernetti said, was not presented to the Rutgers athletic department until Nov. 2012.
Murdock’s attorney, Raj Gadhok, told ESPN that Murdock was fired for reporting Rice’s behavior and plans on taking legal action against the university.
Pernetti said that Murdock was not fired, rather that when his contract expired it was not renewed. Pernetti, who gave Rice a vote of confidence last month, reiterated he will remain as coach of the program barring any additional incidents.