|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice ‘still acting like a mad man’ coaching AAU girls team||04.15.13 at 7:55 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Reds, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Stars at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Grizzlies at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
Running: Boston Marathon, 9 a.m. (WBZ-TV, Universal Sports Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Mike Rice, recently removed from his position as basketball coach at Rutgers after video of him berating and assaulting players at practice was made public, is back on the sidelines, and his demeanor apparently hasn’t changed much. Rice was spotted coaching his daughter’s seventh-grade AAU team out of Neptune, N.J., and, according to one witness, “he’s still acting like a mad man … yelling at both refs and kids.”
Brian Geltzeiler, founder of the website hoopscritic.com, sent a series of tweets Sunday expressing his surprise that Rice was coaching — and acting “as nuts as ever.”
Tweeted Geltzeiler: Just this afternoon Rice told a 12 year old girl, “I can’t even look at you” and the ref told my guy he would have T’d him up 2x if it was HS.
Rice reportedly was coaching the AAU team all season, including while he was at Rutgers. Parents of the girls apparently are OK with Rice’s rants.
SNY.tv quotes a source close to the team as saying that the depiction of Rice is “a gross misrepresentation of the facts. The team’s parents are fully behind coach Rice and his instruction of their daughters.”
♦ Doug Collins will resign as coach of the 76ers at the end of this season, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. Collins, 62, has one year left on his four-year contract, but he informed owner Josh Harris that he will turn down his $4.5 million salary. There is a possibility Collins could remain with the team in another capacity.
The Sixers, who lost to the Celtics in seven games the Eastern Conference semifinals last year, have been eliminated from playoff contention. They are 33-47 and in ninth place in the East.
♦ The Cubs came to an agreement with the city on plans to improve Wrigley Field, with the team set to invest $500 million in the project. As part of the deal, the team will get more night games, four yearly concerts, a video scoreboard in left field and an advertising sign in right field.
It’s not clear how the physical changes will affect fans who watch the games from rooftops of building next to the park. A team statement said that “the Cubs will work with the city on placement of both … to minimize impact on nearby rooftops to the extent consistent with the team’s needs.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 15, 1993, which future Hall of Famer playing for the Red Sox hit his 400th home run during a 4-3, 13-inning victory over the Indians?
|Rutgers abuse scandal roundup: Former Robert Morris player says Mike Rice used gay slur||04.09.13 at 12:01 pm ET|
A former Robert Morris basketball player told school officials that Mike Rice threw a basketball at a player “once or twice” and used a homophobic slur during his time at the university.
Last week, during an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Rice’s physical and verbal abuse against his players at Rutgers became public knowledge. The day after the airing, Rice was fired. A former Rutgers staff member alleged that Rice also was involved in “coaches vs. players” brawls while coaching Robert Morris from 2007-10.
Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman said that an internal investigation did not reveal any evidence of the alleged fights. Coleman also said that one player, who left the program while Rice was at the helm, told school officials that the coach directed a gay slur at him and was involved in a shoving match with another during halftime of a game. The other player has denied having any improper contact with Rice.
RUTGERS REVIEWING PRACTICE VIDEOS FOR ALL SPORTS
Rutgers president Robert Barchi announced Monday that school officials are reviewing practice videos for all of the school’s sports teams to see if any other coach has engaged in similar behavior to Rice. The school also announced that it plans to hire a consultant to conduct an independent review of the situation.
During a town hall meeting on the school’s campus on Monday, Barchi said that he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately. Barchi acknowledged that he should have viewed the video of the abuse back in November, when it first surfaced, and that he would have fired Rice then.
Rice was not the only Rutgers employee to depart following the video’s release, as athletic director Tim Pernetti, an assistant basketball coach and the university’s top lawyer resigned last week.
|Update: Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti resigns; school president Robert Barchi denies culpability||04.05.13 at 10:21 am ET|
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti announced his resignation Friday, following the fallout over his handling of the Mike Rice situation.
Rice, whose physical and verbal abuse of players at practice was exposed when ESPN aired a videotape documenting the behavior, was fired, and assistant coach Jimmy Martelli, who also was taped mistreating players, resigned Thursday.
Even in his resignation letter, Pernetti continued to attempt to pass the blame for his failure to fire Rice after seeing the videotape last fall. Earlier this week, Pernetti insisted he preferred to rehabilitate the coach. Rice was suspended for three games in December, fined $50,000 and ordered to attend anger management counseling. On Friday, Pernetti claimed that he wanted to fire Rice but that he did not have the support of the school to do so.
“I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today,” Pernetti said. “As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.”
Rutgers president Robert Barchi also has come under fire for not insisting that Rice be fired last fall, although Barchi denied seeing the videotape before this week. Barchi hosted a press conference Friday afternoon and was widely criticized for attempting to deflect responsibility in the matter.
“This was a failure of process. I regret that I did not ask to see this video when Tim first told me of its existence,” Barchi said. “I want to apologize to the entire Rutgers community for the negative impact that this situation has had on Rutgers.”
Added Barchi: “It was not until Tuesday evening of this week, when I watched the video, that I had the opportunity to witness personally for the first time what Tim had seen last fall. I was deeply disturbed by the behavior that the video revealed, which was much more abusive and pervasive than I had understood it to be. As Tim acknowledged on Wednesday, his decision to rehabilitate, rather than fire, coach Rice was wrong.”
|Rutgers player defends fired coach Mike Rice; faculty members call for president to resign||04.04.13 at 11:43 am ET|
With the Rutgers basketball team in a state of disarray following the dismissal of coach Mike Rice, the school reportedly told its players to avoid the media.
However, departing senior Austin Johnson, who played three seasons for Rice, spoke to the New York Post and said “everybody’s upset and shocked” by the coach’s dismissal, despite the video evidence of Rice physically and verbally abusing players in practice.
Johnson insisted that Rice had good intentions.
“He wanted to change the culture of Rutgers so bad and he wanted to get us practicing harder,” Johnson said. “He wanted us to follow his lead. He wanted to let us know how hard we needed to work. Maybe, sometimes, yeah [he went over the line], but then other times players stepped over the line as well. It was a two-way street in that matter.
“I never felt threatened. I never felt in harm’s way. I just thought it was really high-intense situations in a really high-intense environment. A lot of my teammates can attest to that.”
Sandra Mack, the mother of sophomore star Myles Mack, was less empathetic.
“From what I saw on the video, it was warranted on him being fired. It’s not right to put your hands on someone else’s kid,” Mack said. “I feel bad for him, but in the meantime I think it was warranted.”
Meanwhile, a group of 13 faculty members demanded that university president Robert Barchi resign for his “inexcusable handling” of the situation. Alumni, lawmakers and a gay-rights group are calling for an investigation.
|Rutgers fires basketball coach Mike Rice after video exposes abuse of players||04.03.13 at 10:34 am ET|
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.
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pistons at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Grizzlies at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Penguins at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Wild at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ 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 ESPN.com: “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?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN’s Rob Parker questions Robert Griffin III’s blackness||12.14.12 at 8:02 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Grizzlies at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Div. 3 championship, St. Thomas vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS semifinal, Georgia Southern at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ ESPN host Rob Parker is the talk of the Internet following his analysis of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III as it pertains to the black community.
RGIII responded to a reporter’s question Wednesday by saying:
“I am [aware] of how race is relevant to [some fans]. I don’t ignore it,. I try not to be defined by it, but I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. So I understand they’re excited their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. So I understand that, and I appreciate them for being fans.”
Speaking on ESPN’s “First Take,” Parker — who also is African-American — said Thursday:
“This is an interesting topic. For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.”
Added Parker: “My question which is just a straight honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”
Asked to elaborate, Parker said: “I want to find out about him. I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. Then there was all this talk about him being a Republican, which there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.”
Stephen A. Smith, who was part of the discussion, tried to distance himself from Parker’s words.
“Well first of all let me say this: I’m uncomfortable with where we just went,” Smith said. “RG III, the ethnicity, the color of his fiancée is none of our business. It’s irrelevant. He can live his life any way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that’s his business, that’s his life. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kind of things. I just don’t do that. I’m not that kind of guy.”
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys responded to media requests Thursday night by tweeting: “The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”
♦ The Packers and Bears have been chirping at each other this week in advance of Sunday’s matchup in Chicago. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley started the latest round when he implied that the Bears are better off without injured linebacker Brian Urlacher.
“Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there,” Finley said Wednesday. “I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy in there might help them a little.”
Responded Bears linebacker Lance Briggs: “[Finley's] an idiot. Just suit up and play ball. His comments aren’t going to change the outcome of the game, they’re not going to help him or anybody else play better. Doesn’t really matter.”
Finley tried to play down the controversy on Thursday, tweeting: Urlacher is a hall of fame player and person. I meant no disrespect to him in previous comments, I was simply trying to explain that his replacement in the lineup is a good player as well.
Meanwhile, Urlacher might have gotten in the last word, noting that the Packers played pretty well without Finley when they won the Super Bowl in February 2011.
“Just like a couple of years ago, I think, [Finley] tore his ACL and the Packers were actually better without him. You know, they won the Super Bowl,” Urlacher told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I hope we can duplicate that as well because it won’t hurt my feelings if we go on and win the Super Bowl without me like they did without him.
“People can say what they want. It feels like I deal with something like this every year. Someone’s always saying something about me.”
♦ Rutgers suspended basketball coach Mike Rice three games and fined him $50,00 for a violation of department policy, specifically a pattern of “inappropriate behavior and language.”
Rice, known for his intensity, apologized for his actions, the specifics of which were not revealed.
“Since becoming a coach at the age of 21, I have taken great pride in not only helping young men learn the game of basketball but also in teaching them about character, respect and hard work,” Rice said. “To the extent that my conduct has ever been in contrast with those principles, I have failed my players — and myself — and I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the terms of my suspension.
“I will learn from my mistakes and I will become a better coach, teacher and role model.”
Reportedly, former Providence College star Eric Murdock — fired over the summer as the team’s director of player development — threatened to release taps of Rice mistreating players.
Said Murdock to the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger: “There is some concern for these players — that’s the biggest thing — as far as how they’re being treated. Eventually a lot of stuff will come to light and it’s not going to shed a good light on Rutgers University.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 14, 1960, the first expansion draft in baseball history was held. The Red Sox lost four players each to the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. One of the players they lost to the Angels went on to a long career as a manager of four major league teams. Who is he?
|Criticized officials pull out of Big East tourney||03.10.11 at 12:54 pm ET|
The three referees who mistakenly allowed the time to run out in Wednesday’s Rutgers-St. John’s game voluntarily withdrew from the rest of the Big East tournament, according to the conference.
Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton failed to call St. John’s player Justin Brownlee for stepping out of bounds and then traveling with a second remaining. Had they made either call, Rutgers would have had a final chance to tie or win the game, which it lost 65-63.
Said Rutgers coach Mike Rice in a Thursday interview: “There’s accountability there. They didn’t have to do this. I’m sure besides my 13 players and my staff, they probably feel just as bad about what happened.”
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