Mike Rice during the Big East tournament.(Photo: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY Sports)
USA TODAY Sports Staff Report
Rutgers University has fired coach Mike Rice less than 24 hours after ESPN's Outside the Lines aired video footage of Rice physically abusing players, the school announced on Wednesday morning.
"Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice, the school statement read.
Rice met with athletic director Tim Pernetti on Wednesday, according to the News-Ledger.
The footage, revealed by former director of player development Eric Murdock, featured Rice throwing basketballs at a player's head, kicking a player and using a homophobic slur directed at a player.
Rice was suspended for three games in December and fined $50,000 after athletic department officials saw video footage of abuse. Pernetti said he spent "hundreds of hours" talking to those involved in the program to determine what happened.
The backlash on Tuesday was widespread. The National College Players Association (NCPA) released a public statement calling for Rice's termination. LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates were angered by the footage as well, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was "deeply disturbed" by what happened at the state school.
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