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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Video exposes Rutgers coach Mike Rice’s abuse of players

04.03.13 at 7:47 am ET

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‘™¦ An interesting week in college basketball got a lot more interesting on Tuesday when tapes of Rutgers coach Mike Rice abusing players in practice was made public. Rice can be seen throwing basketballs at players, pushing them and berating them.

The school’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, took to the airwaves in an attempt to defend his decision last year to not fire Rice (the coach received a three-game suspension, a $50,000 fine and an order to anger management classes).

“I spent more time with that option on whether we should fire Mike or not than any other option,” Pernetti said in an interview with New York sports radio station WFAN. “At the same the results of the investigation where we ended up, the determination was made to suspend him. My biggest concern as the AD is that I am always trying to protect the interests and reputation of the university and that’s what makes this one so difficult. There is a lot of hindsight, 20-20 …. that there will be no other option than to terminate Mike. I made that decision. I am accountable for it. I have to live with it.”

Condemnation of Rice poured in Tuesday, including criticism from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Heat stars LeBron James and Ray Allen.

Tweeted James: If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gone whoop on him afterwards! C’mon.

Said Allen to “It was despicable. Throwing the ball at them — it made me want to fight [Rice]. It made me want to fight this guy. Because that was me — wanting to learn, making mistakes.

“You’re not doing it on purpose. You’re trying to learn. And that’s what coaches should do — you teach. Yelling at kids and throwing the ball at them, there’s no place to that.”

‘™¦ Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday that he doesn’t feel the league’s coordinator of officials deserves more than a reprimand for saying that he would reward an official who gave Arizona coach Sean Miller a technical foul during the conference tournament.

Scott insisted that Ed Rush was trying to explain the need to crack down on coaches’ misconduct when he made the comment about offering $5,000 for a trip to Cancun if someone T’d up Miller, which Scott said was an “inappropriate joke.” Miller was hit with a technical late in the Wildcats’ two-point loss to UCLA in the semifinals, and Miller was highly critical of the call in his postgame press conference, saying he did not deserve it.

“I didn’t view that as a fireable offense. An ethical code was not breached,” Scott said. “Was there very poor judgment used in the language? Absolutely.”

‘™¦ Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday that he would consider drafting Baylor women’s star Brittney Griner, who this week finished her college career with the most blocks and second-most points in NCAA women’s history.

“Right now I’d lean towards yes, just to see if she can do it,” Cuban said of the 6-foot-8 Griner. “You never know unless you give somebody a chance.”

Responded Griner via Twitter: I would hold my own! Let’s do it.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 3, 1996, which Bruins goaltender recorded his 200th career NHL victory with a 4-1 win over the Canadiens in Montreal?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He’s a terrific player who’€™s won some Cups and has been a superstar player,. I liken it a little to — and I told Jaromir this, too ‘€” the addition of Mark Recchi. You don’€™t have to be the guy, but you’re an important piece and you can band together with your teammates. You’ve got the experience, you’ve got a certain skill set, size or whatever you want to call it that will benefit the rest of the group. But really, you’ve won, you have experience and you want to win still. That was an important question, and he was very receptive to that.” — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, on the team’s acquisition of Jaromir Jagr

STAT OF THE DAY: 50 — Shots for the Bruins — a season high — in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Senators

‘NET RESULTS: Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen is expected to miss the rest of the season after injuring his ankle on this icing play.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Legendary songwriter (and sometimes performer) Jeff Barry was born on this day in 1938.

Read More: Brittney Griner, Ed Rush, Larry Scott, Mark Cuban