Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who was fired yesterday after subjecting players to homophobic slurs and physical assaults, issued an emotional apology to the media:
As I stated three months ago after I watched the video…how deeply regrettable those actions… I also stated how I was going to try and work on changing and I think I have accomplished a lot of that.
I can’t say anything right now except I’m sorry… they’ll never be a time when I am going to use any of that as an excuse – or be any excuse.
I have let so many people down… my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans… my family who’s sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact that their father… is an embarrassment to them.
It’s troubling but I will at some time…maybe I will try to explain it but right now there’s no explanation for what’s on those films because there is no excuse for it – I was wrong.
I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me… that I am deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I have caused.
Rice’s behavior was first reported by former director of player development Eric Murdock, who compiled footage of Rice’s actions—including kicking players and calling one a “fucking fairy” and a “fucking faggot.”
Initially, Rice was just suspended for three games, sent to anger-management classes and fined $50,000. But when ESPN and other media outlets got a hold of the disturbing 40-minute video, the school made an about-face and fired Rice.
“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Tim Pernetti said. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
The school’s PR nightmare is far from over, though, as more than a dozen faculty members are calling for Rutger’s President Robert Barchi resign for his “inexcusable handling” of the situation.
“If the roles were reversed and this was a professor and not a coach and this was a student in the classroom as opposed to a collegiate player this would be completely different. You wouldn’t say, ‘This was a first offense,”‘ radiologist Glenn Articolo, a 1991 Rutgers graduate, told CBS News. “There’s not a single employee at Rutgers University, from the president to the janitor, who wouldn’t be dismissed immediately. It seems there’s a double standard when it comes to the basketball coach or the football coach.”
What do you think? Has justice been served or does there need to be more of an accounting for this outrage? Voice your opinion in the comment section below.