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RandBall: Rutgers blow-up shouldn't affect U search (plus the power of Twitter)

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • April 3, 2013 - 10:03 AM

 

Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice this morning, in case you hadn't heard. Here are three quick thoughts about it:

 

1) Behold the power of Twitter. Rice might have officially been fired this morning, but he was effectively fired yesterday when Twitter exploded with a pretty much unanimous condemnation of his actions, caught on tape many, many times. Stories like this spread like wildfire these days. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Say what you want about Royce White, but he was absolutely right when he said Twitter is "the best census we could have."

2) This was absolutely the right thing to do, of course. Maybe 40 years ago some of his types of behavior were more commonplace or accepted -- such as grabbing players in a rough manner. But throwing basketballs at them? At their heads? That kind of stuff is never OK. The more stunning thing is that he wasn't fired immediately when this came to light months ago.

3) Does this impact the Gophers' coaching search? We would guess that it does not, since Rutgers has been AWFUL for a long time at basketball. The squad hasn't made the NCAA tourney since 1991 and hasn't even been above .500 since 2006. That said, this technically is another major-conference job opening up. Rutgers is slated to join the Big Ten in a couple of seasons, and there's no reason the school shouldn't be better at basketball considering the recruiting base of New York. Still, would a coach really pick that mess over Minnesota? We doubt it.

 

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