Coach Abuse – It’s all over the news this week. The video of men’s basketball coach, Mike Rice physically shoving and grabbing his players, throwing balls at their heads, screaming demeaning comments at them, “You F’en Fairy!” “You’re a F’en Faggot!”, etc. There are all of the reports of his publicly making fun of some of his foreign players, calling them “stupid” because they couldn’t understand English or they talked funny! This is a basketball “coach” at a Division I institution of “higher” learning here! A so-called “educator.” Some even say that this is business as usual for these high pressured D-I basketball guys! Rice’s “fiery style,” (translate that as emotional and physical abuse) earned him a “hefty” 3 game suspension and $50,000 fine last December, a mere 6 months after his abusive behavior was first reported to Tim Pernetti, the athletic director.
Why is this kind of abusive, demeaning, disrespectful behavior continually tolerated on the court and in the athletic arenas and not in the classroom? Are athletic and college administrators that oblivious to the debilitating and often times long-term effects of this damaging and despicable behavior? Why do they insist on condoning and/or colluding with the reprehensible behavior of these coaches. Are they that closed minded and out of touch with reality to not realize that this kind of “coaching” behavior does NOT produce winners! It does NOT develop mental toughness! It does NOT build character! What it does do is tear players down, make them afraid to take risks and make mistakes, kill their love for the sport and flat-line their motivation. Why do you think Rutger’s basketball record has been so abysmal under Coach Rice? This is not a random occurrence!!! It’s directly related to BAD coaching! Why have so many of coach Rice’s players left the program? Again, related to BAD coaching!
When will we wake up and realize that all coaches have a responsibility to be good educators, great role models and good human beings, that their primary job is to build up and inspire young athletes, not tear down, disrespect and demean them! Since when is emotional and physical abuse an acceptable teaching tool?
Like with the Penn State abuse case from last year, once again we have the damaging effects of a corrupt system! The Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti is just as responsible for Mike Rice’s emotional and physical abuse of his players because Mr. Pernetti has allowed it to continue and failed to take appropriate action, knowing full well what was going on! Both he and Rice should be immediately fired. Let me restate an obvious truth that we all seem to lose sight of. The competitive sports experience should be all about the student-athletes, NOT the coaches, athletic director or school!
Watch the video!
ADDENDUM: MIKE RICE JUST FIRED BY RUTGERS! Finally, appropriately and very late! The obvious problem with this picture? Athletic Director Tim Pernetti is still employed at Rutgers!