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If there was ever any debate about which NCAA Men’s Basketball coach would have made the best pledge master back in the day, today’s featured story on ESPN’s Outside the Lines suggests Mike Rice of Rutgers would be pretty damn good at fulfilling his executive duties.
This afternoon’s break in the story follows Rice’s three-game suspension and $50,000 fine, both of which were administered by Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti, this past December after initial review of the now public video evidence from Scarlet Knight practices from 2010-2012.
Per ESPN’s OTL:
In several dozen hours of video of Rutgers men’s basketball practices obtained by Outside the Lines, coach Mike Rice is seen hurling basketballs from close range at his players’ heads, legs and feet; shoving and grabbing his players; feigning punching them; kicking them; and screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs.
Seems like Coach Rice has some of the most infamous hazing tactics down pat…
In addition to Rice’s physical actions seen in the practices, Rice calls Rutgers players “fa–ots,” “mother—-ers,” “pu–ies,” “sissy b-tches,” and “c—-,” among other epithets.
Eric Murdock, an ex-NBA player and a former director of player development for the Scarlet Knights, told “Outside the Lines” that Rice’s “outrageous” behavior had caused at least three players to transfer from the team, including forward Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island prior to last season.
Yeah, there’s no argument here — a basketball peg to the face at point blank range, TFTC.
Among other insults, there are multiple reports corroborating that Rice would often be heard hurling ethnically insensitive slurs at players as well.
Biruta, who was born in Lithuania but played high school basketball in New Jersey, described his treatment.
“He would throw his cap at me and he would call me many names,” he said of Rice. “The adjectives were creative. They were mean words.”
“The one thing I hated,” Murdock said of Rice, “he would always talk about ‘Lithuanian this, Lithuanian that,’ talk about where he’s from — ‘soft-ass Lithuanian b–ch,” soft-ass Lithuanian pu–y.’ His nickname was basically ‘Lithuanian fa–ot.'”
Not necessarily the most creative material, but intimidating nonetheless, that’s for sure.
If you need more proof of Coach Rice’s pledge master methods, here is the entire OTL report, including footage of the aforementioned hazing tactics:
Surprisingly, several Rutgers players and coaching staff members actually defended Rice’s “in your fucking face” style of coaching.
But in interviews with “Outside the Lines,” six current and former Rutgers players said they found no problem with Rice’s coaching techniques. Frank Mitchell, a walk-on who played for Rutgers during Rice’s first year, said practices were tough and physical, but players adapted. He said Rice never laid hands on him or cursed at him directly. He transferred to Ithaca College but said it had nothing to do with Rice.
Nothing to do with Rice, huh? Nice try, kid, but we get it — dude’s an asshole.
Listen up, if you guys want to pull this shit with your pledges from time to time, so be it. You know the risks and what your traditions dictate. However, make sure you get all of this animosity out of your system before you start coaching in the NCAA, because clearly this stuff doesn’t fly so well with the general public.
It’s remarkable to think that in light of all the media scorn, AD Pernetti maintains Rice will return to his job next season to take on a new pledge class.
[via ESPN’s OTL]
Image via In Flex We Trust