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Mike Rice Calls Himself an ‘Idiot’ Over Abuse

Former Rutgers mens basketball coach Mike Rice tells The New York Times magazine¬†intensifying his “in your face” methods at Rutgers led to changes in his behavior that he was not aware of and ultimately to the abusive tactics caught on tape and his eventual firing.

 

Mike Rice and wife Kerry on 20/20 with Robin Roberts
Mike Rice and wife Kerry on 20/20 with Robin Roberts (ABC)

“My problem became a huge problem, and I never took time out to analyze how I was going about these things,” said Rice in a story titled “The Coach Who Exploded.”¬†He admits the pressure of coaching a Division 1 basketball team only intensified his behavior. “I was an idiot, but I never abused anybody,” he said.

“A good coach leads his team to water,” Rice said. “A great coach leads his team to water and makes them thirsty. I led them to water, put their heads in until I was satisfied with how much they drank.”

He is working with youth basketball players at Hoops Group in Neptune with a goal of getting back into college coaching. He has been working with basketball rehabilitation specialist John Lucas, who hopes that Rice will get a job again on his own merits and not be saddled forever with his issues at Rutgers.

Rice, who used racial and sexual slurs against his players in the infamous practice video that showed him tossing basketballs at players, has done volunteer work for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education network.

He will also appear with his wife on ABC’s 20/20 in an interview with Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America host describes him a “bully,” a name he does not dispute. His wife says the entire incident was “devastating” for her family and the video a cause of embarrassment. Roberts told her GMA co-hosts that she believes that Rice truly understands the hurt his word had.

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