Thursday, April 4, 2013

Here is Why Rutgers University Waited So Long to Fire Abusive Coach Mike Rice

Really, There is a Simple Answer

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart wonders why Rutgers University officials, who knew in November of the horrible abusive practices of their basketball coach, Mike Rice waited for months to fire the man.  Since they had seen the video recording of those abuses at that time, why did they just slap him on the wrist and go about their business.

According to the Associated Press, “Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a former employee. He suspended Rice for three games a month later, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.” ESPN reported that “University president Robert Barchi saw the tape and signed off on the initial punishment.”

Wait, so, five months later just the mere airing of the offending video was enough to fire the guy? Pernetti’s statement announcing the Rice sacking left me unsatisfied.

Why the wait to fire the coach?  The answers as to the wait are very simpleFirst of all the officials really didn’t care, and as long as the video of what Coach Rice did was not public, so what.  But the major reason was that in November the basketball season was just starting, and Rutgers officials probably felt that if the team was successful then it didn’t matter if the coach was a miserable excuse for a human being, a homophobic, bigoted bully.  Winning fixes everything as we now know from Nike and Tiger Woods.

But in March, when the team’s season was over and they did not do very well then what the heck, go ahead and fire the guy.  Not only did Rutgers save some face, they get rid of an unsuccessful coach and get to go out and hire a new one.  In short, a win-win for everyone, particularly those who love and respect bullies and bigots.

And as to the question of why the Athletic Director, the man who made the decision to keep the coach is not being fired, well that answer should be obvious to everyone.  He retained a man who is not suited to be employed by anyone in a position where that man might just win a few basketball games.  Hey, what’s the problem with that?

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