A guide to the Rutgers' basketball scandal
- Article by: The Associated Press
- Associated Press
- April 5, 2013 - 4:31 PM
Rutgers University's athletics director and another top administrator resigned Friday in the scandal over basketball coach Mike Rice's abusive treatment of players, including the spewing of gay slurs. The administration had chosen to discipline the coach last December and try to "rehabilitate" him. But he was fired this week after video of his conduct was aired.
Here's an at-a-glance look at the case:
Edited clips of practices from 2010 through last year were made public by Eric Murdock, a former basketball program employee at New Jersey's flagship public university, who on Friday filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the university. He shared the video with university officials in November, and ESPN later obtained a copy. With the network readying a report, athletics director Tim Pernetti released the video to other media outlets this week. The video showed Rice shoving and kicking players, throwing basketballs at them and spewing gay slurs.
THE UNIVERSITY'S INITIAL RESPONSE
In December, Rice was suspended for three games and ordered to anger management counseling over his behavior, but officials decided not to fire him. University President Robert Barchi signed off on the decision.
RUTGERS' RESPONSE THIS WEEK
After Barchi said he watched the video for the first time, Rice was fired Wednesday.
Rice later apologized: "Right now there's no explanation for what's on those films," he said. "I was wrong."
Assistant coach Jimmy Martelli resigned Wednesday, saying he was "sickened that as an assistant coach I contributed in any way to an unacceptable culture."
Athletics director Tim Pernetti resigned Friday. He said his first instincts had been to fire Rice but that after an administration review of an investigative report "the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal."
John Wolf, interim senior vice president and general counsel, believed to have recommended against Rice's firing, also resigned.
COACH TO STILL COLLECT PAYCHECK
The university president said the coach was not fired for cause. So under his contract he is owed just over $1 million for the next two years, or 75 percent of his contract amount, plus the $100,000 he earned for completing the 2012-13 season as coach.
WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID
Barchi said his early decision was based on a summary of what the university's investigation found.
Watching the video for the first time, he said, he found the behavior "more abusive and pervasive than I had understood it to be."
"This was a failure of process," he said. "I regret that I did not ask to see this video when Tim first told me of its existence. I want to apologize to the entire Rutgers community for the negative impact that this situation has had on Rutgers.
"I also apologize to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and all of us who share their values for the homophobic slurs shown on that video."
IS THE PRESIDENT'S JOB SAFE?
Apparently so, given who vouched for him Friday.
"I think he is the right person to run this place for many years to come." — Ralph Izzo, chairman of Rutgers board of governors.
"I commend President Barchi for his decisive leadership in coming to an agreement with Mr. Pernetti to have the Athletic Department of Rutgers University come under new leadership." — Gov. Chris Christie.
WHAT RUTGERS' INVESTIGATIVE REPORT FOUND
The university released a redacted version of its 52-page report on its investigation last year into complaints about Rice's conduct.
It concluded that while Rice sometimes behaved inappropriately, many video clips were taken out of context and his actions did not create a hostile work environment or constitute harassment or bullying.
The report said players believed Rice cared about them and wanted to help them.
The report also mentions that Rice used gay slurs but devotes little attention to the issue, other than to say such language "is not acceptable for any coach at any time in a university setting."
It also notes that practices were generally open.
"Despite visits by hundreds of recruits, family members, outside coaches and others, none of those persons complained to AD Pernetti that Coach Rice's behavior in practice was improper," the report found.
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