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"Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community," he said.
Rice, who helped Robert Morris to two NCAA tournament appearances, was one of the hot coaching candidates in the spring of 2010. But he wasn’t able to push Rutgers into the upper echelon of the Big East Conference, and went 44-51. Rice was 16-38 in the Big East, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16 this season and 5-13 in the league.
The firing means Rutgers has now seen its last four coaches dismissed for poor decisions and controversy, rather than simply wins and losses.
Rice was Pernetti’s first major hire after getting the AD’s job.
Pernetti, who has a year left on his contract, said his decision to only suspend Rice was made in part because the coach was remorseful.
The videotape was given to Pernetti by former director of player development, Eric Murdock, who was hired by Rice in 2010. The two had a falling out over Murdock’s appearances at a camp, and Pernetti said Murdock’s contract was not renewed for last season.
A woman who answered the phone at Murdock’s home told the AP he was out. His cell phone did not answer.
Murdock, who said he was fired, compiled the video after losing his job.
Pernetti said about 60 percent of the incidents happened in Rice’s first season.
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