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Video of coach's rants rattles Rutgers

NEWARK, N.J. — Rutgers said it would reconsider its decision to retain coach Mike Rice after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs.

The tape, shown Tuesday on ESPN, prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie and NBA star LeBron James.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti got a copy of the video in late November from a former employee. He suspended Rice for three games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.

In an interview with New York's WFAN Radio on Tuesday, Pernetti said university president Robert Barchi also viewed the tape last fall and agreed with the punishment.

But ESPN's broadcast prompted an outcry, led by the governor.

"It's not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people and clearly there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at Rutgers University," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

Rice, hired by Pernetti three years ago, is 44-51 at Rutgers, including 16-38 in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16, 5-13 this season.

"You have to be always cautious about public reaction," Pernetti said. "…I am factoring everything into what we do going forward."

Enfield to USC: Southern California athletic director Pat Haden hired Andy Enfield, who is fresh off of leading Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16, as coach. Enfield's Eagles became a national story as the first No. 15 seed to go that far in the NCAA Tournament. They upset No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 seed San Diego State before losing to Florida.

Referee reaction: Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said comments made by coordinator of officials Ed Rush are "not a fireable offense" and have been "mischaracterized" as targeting only Arizona coach Sean Miller during internal meetings before the league tournament. Scott told AP by phone that an investigation found Rush's rant included an "inappropriate joke" offering a group of officials prizes if they called a technical on Miller, but that every official interviewed confirmed "nobody thought they were getting a reward."

MISSOURI: Freshmen guards Negus Webster-Chan and Dominique Bull are transferring, citing concerns about playing time and a desire to play closer to home.

UNC Asheville: Longtime coach Eddie Biedenbach resigned to take a job at UNC Wilmington as assistant to head coach Buzz Peterson.

New Mexico: Craig Neal was hired as coach after spending the past six years as associate head coach under Steve Alford. UCLA named Alford coach this week.

Pittsburgh: Center Steven Adams and guard Trey Zeigler both announced that they will leave the program after one season. Adams, a 7-foot freshman, said he plans to sign with an agent and enter the NBA Draft. Zeigler, a 6-5 junior, said he will seek a transfer.

NIT: Baylor in final

NEW YORK — Pierre Jackson had 24 points and 10 assists to lift Baylor back to the NIT final for the second time in five years with a 76-70 win over BYU at Madison Square Garden. Cory Jefferson had 21 points and Isaiah Austin 14 for the Bears (22-14). Tyler Haws scored 25 for the Cougars (24-12). Baylor was set to play the winner of the late semifinal between Iowa and Maryland.

.NCAA TOURNAMENT

Final Four

Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM

Wichita State vs. Louisville, 6:09 p.m.

Syracuse vs. Michigan, about 8:49 p.m.

National championship

Wichita State/Louisville vs. Syracuse /Michigan, 9:21 Monday. TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM

Video of coach's rants rattles Rutgers 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 9:54pm]
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