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Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Rutgers has fired men's basketball coach Mike Rice.

Rice was shown on videotape shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players during practice and yelling gay slurs at them.

The videotape, broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie and NBA star LeBron James. The head of the New Jersey Assembly called for Rice to be fired.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a former employee. He suspended Rice for three games a month later, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.

In an interview with WFAN Radio in New York on Tuesday, Pernetti said university president Robert Barchi also viewed the tape last fall and agreed with the punishment.

Phone messages left for Rice by the AP were not immediately returned.

But ESPN's broadcast prompted an outcry, led by the governor himself.

"Governor Christie saw the video today for the first time and he is obviously deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior," spokesman Michael Drewniak said. "It's not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University."

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