Many of us may have heard or have seen a video of the crises that took place with the Rutgers basketball team. On the morning of April 3, Rutgers University was all over ESPN for the most horrific sports news that I have seen this year. Assistant coach Jimmy Martelli and Head Coach Mike Rice were exposed for abusing their players.
Rice, who is now the former head coach of the Rutgers basketball team, was fired after the footage of his unprofessional style of coaching was leaked. The video is very appalling and it displayed the most inexcusable behavior a coach can display toward their players.
The clip showed Rice yelling at his players during practice. While yelling, he shoved multiple players and threw basketballs at their heads and feet. Rice also cursed at them and called the players homophobic slurs. It is one thing to have an aggressive coaching approach toward players, but this clearly showed a man that was unable to control his temper and how he had no boundaries.
The odd thing is there were players that accepted his way of coaching and took it as a way of motivating. However, one of the players, Gilvydas Biruta, was unable to deal with it anymore and transferred to Rhode Island because of Rice’s misconduct. Biruta stated on ESPN that Rice criticized him as a person and not as a player.
Rutgers assistant coach Jimmy Martelli was known as “Baby Rice” because he acted in much the same way as the head coach. Ironically, a day after the firing of Rice, Martelli resigned.
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti suspended Rice back in December for three games and fined him $50,000. But I don’t know what Pernetti was thinking, because Rice should have been fired right then. In the aftermath, Pernetti resigned from his post as athletic director on April 5.
Rice and Martelli are not the only coaches in college basketball history to be overly aggressive. One of the greats, Bob Knight, is known for throwing chairs and one instance he choked out a player during practice in 1997. NCAA has to find a way to crack down harder and find a way to better prevent this from happening again.