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Rutgers fires basketball coach Mike Rice after video exposes abuse of players

04.03.13 at 10:34 am ET
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One day after a videotape of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice abusing his players in practices was made public, the school dismissed the coach Wednesday, citing “recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues.”

Athletic director Tim Pernetti, who also has come under fire for only suspending Rice three game last fall after viewing the tape of Rice throwing basketballs at players and pushing them, announced the decision in a press release.

“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of coach Rice,” Pernetti said. “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. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”

Rice did a TV interview outside his house Wednesday morning before the announcement and was contrite.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “There will never be a time where I’m going to use any of that as any excuse, or would there be any excuse. I’ve let so many people down — my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who’s sitting in their house huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them.

“It’s troubling. At some time maybe I’ll try to explain it. But right now there’s no explanation for what’s on those films, because there is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and the hardship that I’ve caused.”

Rice, 44, went 44-51 in two seasons at Rutgers.

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