Fired coach says ‘no excuse’ for his behavior

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — The man who’s been fired as basketball coach at Rutgers in New Jersey says there’s “no excuse” for his behavior seen in video excerpts of his team’s practice sessions.

In the video, Mike Rice is seen shoving and grabbing players, throwing balls at them and using gay slurs.

The school’s athletic director first saw the video in November, and decided to suspend Rice for three games and fine him. And the school’s president signed off on that punishment.

But now that the tape had been broadcast on ESPN, there have been calls for the school to fire the coach. And it did so today.

Rice emerged from his home this morning to speak to reporters outside and apologize for his conduct. He said his family was huddled inside the house because, in his words, “their father was an embarrassment to them.” He said he’d let them down — along with his players, their fans and the university.

Rice said he vowed to change after he first saw the video three months ago — and he thinks he’s “accomplished a lot of that.”

%@AP Links

178-a-09-(Morris Brown, Rutgers sophomore, in AP interview)-”about it now”-Rutgers sophomore Morris Brown says says action should have been taken a long time ago. (3 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *178 (04/03/13)>> 00:09 “about it now”

172-a-17-(Mike Rice, fired Rutgers basketball coach, with reporters)-”embarassment to them”-Mike Rice, who’s been fired as Rutgers basketball coach, says he’s let so many people down. ((note cut length)) (3 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *172 (04/03/13)>> 00:17 “embarassment to them”

171-a-11-(Mike Rice, fired Rutgers basketball coach, with reporters)-”be any excuse”-Mike Rice, who’s been fired as Rutgers basketball coach, says says he regrets his actions. (3 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *171 (04/03/13)>> 00:11 “be any excuse”

174-a-12-(Mike Rice, fired Rutgers basketball coach, with reporters)-”I was wrong”-Mike Rice, who’s been fired as Rutgers basketball coach, admits that what we see on that video was wrong. (3 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *174 (04/03/13)>> 00:12 “I was wrong”

GRAPHICSBANK: Mike Rice, as Rutgers University head basketball coach, with logo on texture, partial graphic (3 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO NY175: FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2012, file photo, Rutgers coach Mike Rice reacts to play during an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut in Piscataway, N.J. The airing Tuesday, April 2, 2013, of a videotape of Rice using gay slurs, shoving and grabbing his players and throwing balls at them in practice over the past three seasons has Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti reconsidering his decision not to fire the coach. Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a disgruntled former employee, and he suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and made him undergo anger management classes for inappropriate behavior after investigating it. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (7 Jan 2012)

<<APPHOTO NY175 (01/07/12)>>

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