If you followed any sports stories yesterday or today, you probably saw the video of the Rutgers men’s basketball coach, Mike Rice. The video showing footage of Rice hitting his players with basketballs, kicking them, shoving them, and cursing them with homophobic slurs.  When one of Rice’s assistant coaches complain about the abuse, Rutgers did what any, NCAA-governed institution would do.  The Rutgers University chose to not renew the contract of the squealing, trouble-making assistant coach.  Then the upstanding New Jersey university suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000. Problem solved, but this sanction only came after university officials saw this video, back in November of last year.  That’s why Rutgers thought it could get away with slapping its basketball coach, Mike Rice, on the wrist for his continuing physical and verbal abusive of his players.

Now, my first thought after seeing the video was “why wasn’t this guy fired?” and “why does a university basketball player, put up with this type of immature behavior?”  My wife, upon seeing the same video said, “that guy has an anger issue and needs anger management.”  After seeing the video shown on many national television channels, and news and sports shows, my first response was to look at the video and lay blame on the person doing the abusive behavior, but that just raises more questions.  When was this video taken?  Some sources stated that there were hours of video, showing this on going abusive behavior, but no one said anything prior to the assistant coach?  Not the person doing the taping?  Not any of the players?  Not any of the player’s parents or friends?  Also, if the university was made aware of this video in November, why is it in the news only now in April?

This is nothing new in the realm of university athletics, the NCAA, athletic directors, coaches, and university administrators.  We can all remember pictures of Bobby Knight throwing a chair across the basketball court.  So, this type of behavior continues today.  It is too bad that we only see a snippet of this behavior and we do not see the player’s side of these exchanges.  I would be the first person to be opposed to this type of abusive behavior by Coach Rice, but I also would question why there is not charges filed against him for assault, because what I saw was multiple examples of assault.

But, I believe that this is just another example of university administrators and officials and coaches turning a blind eye to what is occurring in campus’ across this country, and only looking at the huge amounts of monies coming from, boosters and alumni in support of university athletics, the multi-million dollar television contracts, and the fees paid for post-season play-off appearances, tournaments, and bowl games.  The other reason is probably due to the timing of this situation.  The Rutgers officials were made aware of this in November which is the start of the college basketball season…are you going to fire the coach at that point?  Who do you find to replace him?  Do you place your basketball season and program in the hands of your assist coaches?  Am I the only one that questions the timing of the release of this video…after the Rutgers University basketball season has ended?  I believe their last game was a March 13th loss.

The bottom line is money and the power that universities, in this country, strive to obtain to become national champions in their different sports venues.  The standard response to charges of abuse seems to always be, rehabilitation for the offender/coach, just look at Penn State and Jerry Sandusky.  It’s not hard to see why our country continues to slip on the world stage, when it comes to educational standards of academic excellence, when our colleges and universities place more value on sports and sport success.

Late note: It was announced at 10:00 am CDT this morning, that Coach Rice’s contract as the Rutgers University Men’s Basketball Coach, was terminated by Rutgers University officials.

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