MIKE RICE JR. (BACK IN THE GAME)


“A PROGRAM’S NEW HOPE”

The day Mike Rice was hired by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti was hailed by many as the day Rutgers Basketball would be taken seriously as a program. Separating itself from the disastrous regime of previous coach Fred Hill, Rutgers landed one of the hottest coaching names in the country. The son of Portland Trailblazers broadcast announcer Mike Rice SR., Mike Rice led Robert Morris University to 2 consecutive NEC Championships and NCAA tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010. A lucky bounce of the ball here or there and they defeat #2 seed Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. (Lost 73-70 in OT, 2010).

Rice brought toughness, discipline, hard-work, and accountability to Rutgers. While the first 2 years at RU were losing seasons he was starting to bring in his players. The feeling was they weren’t far off from being very competitive in the Big East.

Eric Murdock was a New Jersey high school legend. A Bridgewater-Raritan West, NJ high school graduate who later starred at Providence College, Murdock went onto have a solid and lengthy NBA career. More importantly for Rutgers, he was hired in 2010 to become the director of basketball player development. He could now sell top New Jersey players on attending Rutgers. Who better to learn from then an ex NBA player? What could be better then having someone who played at the highest level go into a high school kid’s home and convince them to attend Rutgers? Mike Rice was seemingly making all the right decisions.

“DECEMBER 13, 2012”

Accusations eventually surrounded Rice, the fiery Pittsburgh, PA born native. Shoving and grabbing players. Hurling basketballs at players’ heads, legs, anruuuuuuud feet. Kicking players. Screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs aimed towards players. How did this information come about? Did players come out to the news stations? How did this information get leaked?

The whistle-blower? Eric Murdock. Murdock’s contract was not renewed for the 2013 season. He claims it was because he reported the abuse to Tim Pernetti. Many theories arise when discussing the issue. Murdock ended up with videos from previous practices that showed all the horrific actions that Rice did. His attorney presented them to athletic director Tim Pernetti. Rice was suspended 3 games and fined $50,000.

“OUTSIDE THE LINES”

The biggest day in the history of Rutgers University Athletics. The biggest sports story in America was taking place at the Rutgers Athletic Center (THE RAC). It is what every fan of Rutgers had been waiting years for. Rutgers athletics was the lead story on all the T.V. networks. Except for one thing. It was for all the wrong reasons.

On April 2, 2013 ESPN showed the videos of the aforementioned actions Rice was accused of. A national outcry calling for Rice’s termination immediately followed. Mike Rice was fired the next day and Tim Pernetti was subsequently fired soon thereafter. Rice ended up in anger management classes in Houston,TX with his counselor being ex NBA player and coach John Lucas along with a severely tarnished image.

Questions abound the situation. Why did it take Rutgers roughly 4 months to put this video out into the public’s view? According to the attorneys of 2 Rutgers players who pursued a lawsuit regarding the incident, it was because Rutgers tried covering it up in order to avoid bad publicity as it was about to make a move into the Big Ten conference, which Tim Pernetti brokered. Four players immediately transferred and some lawsuits are still pending. On April 23, 2013 Rutgers named Eddie Jordan to become it’s next head coach. In May of 2013, Julie Hermann was appointed as the school’s athletic director.

“GETTING A 2ND CHANCE”

“Hoop Group”, a Neptune, New Jersey based organization that puts on basketball clinics and tournaments throughout the country gave Rice a chance to get back into the sport. His official title was “Director of Team Tournaments”. Rice handled that job for 2 years and by all indications, seems to have his anger issues under control.

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“THE RAC”

 “The Patrick School” in Elizabeth, New Jersey is a national high school basketball powerhouse. NBA players Al Harrington, Samuel Dalembert, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Kyrie Irving all attended the high school (formerly named Saint Patrick High School), along with dozens of other Division 1 players. The former coach of the NJ high school power was Kevin Boyle, who left in 2011 to become the head coach of Montverde Academy in Florida.

All Boyle did at his new school was win 3 consecutive high school national championships. D’Angelo Russell (number 2 pick in 2015 NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers) and Ben Simmons (LSU, projected number 1 pick in 2016 NBA Draft) are 2 of the stars Boyle has had at Montverde Academy. When Boyle left New Jersey for Florida, his assistant coach Chris Chevannes took over as head coach at the tiny NJ catholic school. A highly respected coach and person, Chevannes is also “The Patrick School” principal.

“BACK ON THE SIDELINE”

The story hit the news on December 6, 2015. Mike Rice, infamous for the scandal that brought Rutgers University to its knees was hired to become a coach at “The Patrick School”. Due to Chevannes principal duties, Rice will be the head coach for the first month of the season and then become a “special assistant” coach for the remainder of the year. It is a bold move by “The Patrick School” to hire someone with the negative past that Rice has had.

Mike Rice is a good basketball coach. Nobody will doubt that. The question is does he deserve another chance at coaching? Can he change the way he behaves while on the sidelines? Will he bring negative attention to the high school he is now coaching at? These are all questions that need to be answered. The only person who can answer these questions? Mike Rice himself.

BELOW IS A CLIP OF MIKE RICE’S FIRST PRACTICE WITH “THE PATRICK SCHOOL”

QUESTIONS FOR THE READER:

  1. Does Mike Rice deserve another chance at coaching?
  2. How do you think the situation was handled?
  3. Did athletic director Tim Pernetti deserve to be fired?
  4. Do you think Mike Rice will get another coaching job at the college level in the future?

 

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY COMMENTS REGARDING THIS ARTICLE IN THE COMMENT SECTION. I WILL GLADLY RESPOND TO YOUR ANSWERS.

 

Article was previously published November 2015

 

 

20 thoughts on “MIKE RICE JR. (BACK IN THE GAME)”

  1. JeffWA says:

    Hi Rob,
    I do believe that I have commented on a previously well written article on your site.

    This one did not disappoint as you tackled the difficult subject of a controversial individual Mike Rice the ex-Rutgers’ men’s basketball coach.

    Being a devout follower of sports as you are Rob, I distinctly remember the events of a few years ago which led to Rice’s firing as Rutgers head basketball coach.

    His belligerence, prejudicial attitude and treatment of his players should have gotten him fired case closed.

    It is one thing to have to correct a player’s faults during practice in order to get the player to understand what he has to do to make himself a better performer, (in his sport). It is another thing altogether to make insensitive, callous and homophobic remarks to that player. In today’s day and age with people of both genders “coming out” and as a society our acceptance of gay/lesbian individuals; calling a person with those type of insensitive remarks is simply not to be tolerated.

    My only question would be has Mike Rice learned his lesson? We supposedly are a country who grants members of society who do wrong a second chance.

    However does Rice deserve an opportunity to work with young men at the high school level? What if a player does not meet Rice’s expectations and in practice or at games the young person either fails to make a tactical move mentally or even physically which would jeopardize the team’s chances of winning?

    I hope that this particular high school’s administration will be monitoring Rice very closely and keep him on a one-mess up and your out policy.

    I’m not sure if I had a son that I would want this individual in Rice to be coaching him. I’m of the belief that certain zebras don’t change their stripes and that Rice’s volatile temper probably has not changed one bit since 2012.

    You wrote an excellent article Rob. Your site devoted to sports is simply outstanding. Please keep up the work, and continue writing about controversial sports personalities such as Mike Rice!

    Jeff

    1. admin says:

      Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

  2. Silentfox says:

    Yes your first page is kind of confused for me. I really like your site a lot. Just I’m unfamiliar with basketball lingo. Maybe put a big header explaining what your site is about. Just my opinion but i dunno much about basketball either. I just figured it would help those of us who dunno a lot about basketball like you do. Awesome job, keep it up.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you. Best of luck.

  3. Matt says:

    What a great article rob. Keep up the writing. I enjoy reading all of your article. You sure do know ur sports. Keep it up.

    1. Thank you Matt. Please stop by the website whenever you have the chance.

  4. Andrew G says:

    NO, i do not believe there is any room for bullies in our society, and they should all be treated in a way that does not allow them to regain any position of importance. Let bullies have their place as janitors or other positions that they should be in for a school. Low places

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      I respect your response. These are the types of questions and answers that I wanted to receive when I wrote this article. He is currently coaching high school basketball for the same team. I highly doubt he gets another college coaching job. I agree 100 percent with you as there are no room for bullies anywhere, especially grown men who are supposed guide and mentor young college student-athletes.

      -Rob

  5. Author, Dante Harrell says:

    1st off I really like how once you enter your page you ask for an email to subscribe I really like that how did you do that? also, the color scheme was consistent and I can see how your site is very informational for the basketball fan from high school to the NBA great range awesome site! Giannotti

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      In response to the sign-in form for our newsletter, we use mailchimp.com. They have a variety of different types of sign-in forms. Your positive comments about the site is very much appreciated. Try and stop by whenever you have the opportunity. We are always publishing new and up to date information on high school, college, and NBA basketball.

      -Rob

  6. Leon says:

    Hey Rob,

    Had a great time reading your article on Rice, yes it is cool that i have a place now to get my inside scoop on what’s happening with our youth and basketball but more so its a place where everyone that is seeking facts on news and matters that are important with what is happening in High school, and College, more so the NBA our professionals who our young kids and the youth look up to, love the sight and I have it bookmarked for easy access. Thanks for read

    Leon

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      I am really glad that you enjoyed viewing the site. The whole purpose of it is to give people some knowledge about all levels of basketball. We try to go in-depth with our articles/posts as much as possible so readers can learn. Comments like the one you just posted are a motivational booster and very much appreciated. Best of luck to you.

      -Rob

  7. Steve & Kris says:

    I really like the theme you are using, it’s bold and eye-catching. One issue with the menu is that Privacy Policy wraps around, and when you hover over Important NBA pages, it gets confused with both menu items overlapping. Very interesting that you are talking about high school and college. You have a lot of content, and it’s very well laid out. The site is laid out very well, and easy to read and follow.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for your comments. I will check on the issue that you stated to me. Best of luck to you.

      -Rob

  8. Tar says:

    Hello there,

    In my opinion, Mike Rice deserves to get another chance in coaching if one who will hire him has faith in him. That could change Mike when one hands him another opportunity and I am sure Mike won’t repeat his mistake again. Controversial incidents happened, it’s not in the world of sports as even this happened to sporting greats like Joe Montana.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      You make some very good points. Rice is actually coaching at premier high school in New Jersey (The Patrick School). By all accounts, he has handled himself properly with no incidents. I believe in 2nd chances, however, I think it will be a couple more years at least before an Division 1 program invests in him. It will take an athletic director who has 100% faith in him that he won’t put the school in a negative spotlight again.

      -Rob

  9. Robert Junk says:

    I really don’t know how I feel about him back as a coach regardless of where it he’s coaching or what level. What he did at Rutgers was appealing. We was obviously dealing with some personal problems and maybe he got help for his issues but this is a corporate job. He is coaching and mentoring young impressionable young men. I really hope that he did get his life back together and I hope for these kids sake, he is being closely monitored for signs of trouble.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hi Robert,

      You and many other people, including myself have the same feeling on him right now. What he did at Rutgers was obviously inexcusable, and he paid for it dearly by losing his job and the millions of dollars that he had on his contract. He is currently coaching high school basketball in New Jersey. By all accounts, he has behave very well. This might be the start of him showing colleges that he has changed his behavior.

      -Rob

  10. Nico Rocha says:

    I really hope Mike Rice Jr. has changed already because the allegations that were thrown at him arent supposed to be brushed off because those sentiments and the actions he did to his former players would have surely left a mark on their playing careers and may have been detrimental to their development. I hope Mike Rice has learned his lesson and instead use the past to to be a better person and coach. His accolades prove that he is a good one but he just needs to focus on his player-coach relationship and I’m sure he’ll be able to reclaim his reputation and also fix it.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      By all accounts, Rice has improved his behavior very much. I have personally seen him coach recently as he is now a high school coach in New Jersey. He has been very professional and seems to really enjoy coaching young kids. I believe he has changed his behavior. The question I would like to have answered is if any college would give him a 2nd chance. His reputation has definitely changed as he looks to have learned from his mistakes. However, people will have varying opinions on him, and rightfully so.

      -Rob

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