VIDEO: Rutgers fires coach Mike Rice after he abused players on video

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Head coach Mike Rice of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights was fired after a video went public of him abusing players and shouting gay slurs during practice.

Credit:

AL BELLO

Rutgers University has bowed to pressure to fire basketball coach Mike Rice after a video of Rice physically abusing players and shouting gay slurs went public. 

ESPN aired the video on Tuesday, which showed Rice shoving players, throwing balls at their heads and shouting profanity and homophobic slurs during practice.

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi said the video showed "a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior."

"Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability," Barchi said.

Rice was originally suspended for three games, fined $50,000 and was ordered to attend anger management classes by Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti.

Pernetti has had the video since November when Eric Murdock, a former NBA player who worked at Rutgers with Rice, turned it over.

In a statement Wednesday, Pernetti said he should have punished Rice even further.

"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," Pernetti said.

"Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community."

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also weighed in on the video, standing by Rutgers' decision to fire Rice.

"Parents entrust their sons to the Rutgers athletic department and the men's basketball program at an incredibly formative period of their lives," Christie said in a statement.

"The way these young men were treated by the head coach was completely unacceptable and violates the trust those parents put in Rutgers University. All of the student-athletes entrusted to our care deserve much better."

About 58,000 students attend the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based public university.