Former Player Shockingly Backs Rutgers Coach Mike Rice Despite Firing

By Ryan Heckman

Rutgers head basketball coach Mike Rice sure knows how to stir up a controversy and define the very meaning of a disgrace. Rice was caught on video a few months back verbally and physically abusing his players as what some refer to as “motivation.”

The video shows the coach screaming, cursing, using homophobic slurs and throwing basketballs at his players’ heads. He was suspended for three games last year and fined $50,000 once school officials got hold of the video, but the public did not get a chance to see the video for themselves.

Once the video was released and the public got hold of it, people everywhere were clamoring for Rice to be fired immediately.

However, one of his former players, Mike Coburn, actually defended Rice, saying to the Washington Post, “Looking back at it now, it was extreme. It wasn’t right what he was doing. But we understood it. He was trying his best. … Did he go overboard? Yes, he went overboard. But you can’t get a good feel for what went down by seeing highlights on ESPN. No one was scared of coach Rice. We didn’t fear him. We just understood him.”

It’s shocking to think anybody would defend such actions, but to each his own apparently.

Even superstar LeBron James tweeted yesterday that he would lay a “whooping” on the a coach in the future if he ever did something like that to his son while playing college basketball. “He would have some real explaining to do,” James tweeted.

Rutgers did the absolute right thing in getting such a cancer to the university out of there, and Rice should be ashamed of himself. Cleaning it up may take a while, but at least the players know they are safe now.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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