Rutgers Coach Fired After Video of Player Abuse Goes Viral

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By Andrew Lu on April 03, 2013 9:00 AM

Rutgers has finally fired basketball coach Mike Rice.

The firing comes after ESPN aired video clips of Rice shoving, grabbing, and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs.

The video quickly went viral and led to outrage on social media, as well as from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and NBA stars like Lebron James. Rice was originally suspended for only three games for his actions. But faced with mounting criticism, the state college of New Jersey decided to terminate Rice.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was first shown the tape in November by a former employee. At the time, Pernetti felt that a three-game suspension, a $50,000 fine, and mandatory anger management classes were enough. Pernetti has now admitted that this initial decision to retain Rice was wrong, reports ESPN.

The details of Rice's termination, and whether he will receive any severance, were not reported.

Typically, executive and well-paid employees at a university sign an employment contract. While an employment contract typically covers things like length of employment, salary, benefits, and other perks of employment, an employment contract can also govern things like grounds for termination.

In Mike Rice's case, it's likely that his contract states when and for what reasons the basketball coach may be fired. In addition, the contract likely provides what happens once he gets terminated, like whether he can continue to collect compensation and receive a severance. Mike Rice was a hot commodity just a few years ago, and Rutgers may have made many concessions in landing the coach, likely not envisioning that Rice would become a hot-head and bigot.

Rice's contract likely included a provision that the coach could be terminated for extreme acts. However, the contract may have also provided that Rice would be paid a portion (or all) of his salary should he be terminated.

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