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Rutgers Suspends Head Basketball Coach Mike Rice

Rutgers University has suspended head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice for three games without pay and fined $50,000 for use of “inappropriate language.”

Rutgers mens basketball head coach Mike Rice
Rutgers mens basketball head coach Mike Rice (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

In a statement, Rutger Tim Pernetti Athletic Director says “Accountability is a vital element of the Rutgers Athletics family and it is imperative our head coaches act and lead in a responsible manner,” said Pernetti. “This was not an easy decision for me to make but absolutely necessary to ensure what is best for our program.”

Pernetti also addressed the suspension during a conference call with the media on Thursday afternoon, explaining that an incident during a practice prompted the suspension.

“I was made aware of some things within the last couple of weeks,” Pernetti said according the  “We commenced a thorough, lengthy and fair investigation and this was the result of that investigation. There was obviously some things that are not to the Rutgers standard that we evaluated and decided upon.”

The suspension will be a removal from the Rutgers basketball program. “Mike will not be permitted to do anything,” Pernetti said. “He’ll be removed from the program. He won’t be able to be active in his role as head basketball coach inside or outside the university. The suspension for this period of time and these games is a complete removal from the program.”

Rice returns to the sidelines on January 2 when the Scarlet Knights travel to Syracuse. Associate head coach David Cox will coach in Rice’s absence.

Pernetti said in the call that “there is a lot of goof” in the program citing the team’s 3.0 GPA and Rice’ involvement in charities.

“Since becoming a coach at the age of 21, I have taken great pride in not only helping young men learn the game of basketball but also in teaching them about character, respect and hard work,” said Rice in the same statement. “To the extent that my conduct has ever been in contrast with those principles, I have failed my players – and myself – and I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the terms of my suspension. I will learn from my mistakes and I will become a better coach, teacher and role model.”

Rice is known as “one of the most boisterous and animated coaches in college basketball” according to the Sporting News. He was ejected from a game against Louisville last season.

He is in his third year as Rutgers’ head coach.

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