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Rutgers basketball coach fired after video goes viral

Posted at: 04/03/2013 10:21 AM
Updated at: 04/03/2013 4:42 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

A video first shown by ESPN Tuesday night shows the Rutgers University men's basketball coach going after his own players, throwing basketballs and shoving them. One of those players is Dane Miller, a Rush-Henrietta High School grad.

On Wednesday morning, Rutgers coach Mike Rice was fired.

Rush Henrietta Varsity Basketball Coach Chris Reed said this kind of behavior would have been expected from coaches in the 1970's and 1980's, but not today.

Reed says coaches should treat their players like they would their own kids. He stayed close with Miller, who is a senior at Rutgers.

Reed said, “I have mixed emotions, I am proud of him. He was able to get through a very difficult situation. But at the same time, when you send a kid off to college, you are entrusting people with this stage of  the young persons development. And this person, your player, or son, is in this person's hands, and to see this going on is very disturbing.”

Reed says Miller never mentioned what was happening at practice at Rutgers. Reed doesn't think this type of behavior occurs often, but, he says it should create a conversation between parents and students.

The executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center agrees, saying this is clear abuse.

Mary Whitter, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, said, “For parents, when they are home tonight with their kids. If their children play sports, even if they don't just say to them, most coaches are great they are great with children and really great mentors. But nobody deserves to be berates, demeaned and really verbally and physically abused that way.”

Bivona says there is no perfect way to talk with your child about this, but a good way to start the conversation is to let them know they're valued and that no one should talk to them, or treat them, in a manner like what is shown on the video.

Rice issued a statement Wednesday saying, "As I stated three months ago after I watched the video how deeply regrettable those actions (were). I also stated I was going to try to work on changing. I think I've accomplished a lot of that. I can't say anything right now except I'm sorry and there will never be a time where I'm going to use any of that as an excuse or there will be any excuse. I've let so many people down: my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who's sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact their father was an embarrassment to them. It's troubling, but at some time maybe I'll try to explain it. But right now there's no explanation for what's on those films. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I've caused."