The college basketball world is in the midst of destroying social media for the day. Thanks to Rutgers Scarlet Knights coach, Mike Rice, slurs and physical abuse has reared its ugly head into the world of mainstream discussion, again. A video of Rice calling players a homophobic term and throwing basketballs at players’ heads has surfaced and been shown to the world by ESPN.
The incident occurred some time ago and Rutgers suspended Rice for three games–which is about the same suspension a coach would get for poking fun at officials. Meaning, university athletic departments have now lost all control and lost the vision of what college was supposed to be–an institution of higher learning. Not a money-making factory that sacrifices racial and sexual-orientation progress. Or, even let a little thing like physically abusing kids stand in the way of making a few extra bucks.
First things first. Rice is not even doing a good job with the program. The idea that their athletic director, Tim Pernetti, would not immediately terminate him for his actions is baffling. While I wouldn’t condone it, I would at least understand keeping him around if the program was constantly in the Elite 8. In reality, however, the program has become a bottom-feeder and a laughing stock to so many.
So many questions come up because of the video surfacing. What took so long for it to surface? Why did Pernetti not fire Rice? What would Rice have to do to get a four game suspension? Where was/is the Big East or NCAA during all this? Shouldn’t something such as physical abuse and bigotry have a zero tolerance policy?
Everyone should feel dirty and disgusting today. Rutgers should look in the mirror and then punch their reflection in the face a million times. The idea that they would only suspend Rice for three games, then somewhat back the decision on national TV, is not only baffling but disturbing. Not a parent on the planet will want to send their child to Rutgers as long as Rice is their coach.
Rice, well, he has done everything in his power to set tolerance back a decade or two. If you think I am being too harsh on him–then you too are likely filled with the same ignorance that flows through Rice’s body. It should be simple. If Rutgers refuses to hand down a stiffer penalty, the NCAA or Big East should step in and handle it.
The NCAA and Big East should take further actions. They both, apparently, oversee a university such as Rutgers. Are they going to allow an institution of higher learning to endorse such atrocious behavior? By looking the other way, it is nearly the same as they putting a stamp of approval on hatred and abuse.
The idea of people making light of this situation is disturbing. If anyone were at their employers and had to endure such hostile work environments, it would result in immediate lawsuit action as well as the company doing a complete overhaul of management Somehow, because this is sport, we continue to allow such ridiculous behavior.
As I write this, players continue to abandon the sinking ship known as Rutgers University. Maybe my opinions on the matter won’t help change how Rutgers, the NCAA or any governing body in sports deals with things, but maybe this will:
Vincent Garrett also transferring from Rutgers, sources confirmed to @snytv. Ledger 1st reported.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 2, 2013
Because a player leaving changes how much a school is going to make. It is sad, but considering all these people care about is money anyways, if that is what it takes to bring a higher level of tolerance to college sports–so be it.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone