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Local coaches react to Rutgers' firing of Mike Rice

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 03 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 04 2013 04:17:48 AM CDT

Rutgers coach fall out rests on local schools

Rutgers University fired its basketball coach after a controversial video is shown by ESPN.

The video shows coach Mike Rice berating his players verbally and physically during practice.

"You can get in your player's face, you can do what you have to do to get your player's attention but to physically put your hands on them and start throwing things at them...he's pretty much lucky he didn't have the wrong kid on his team 'cause he might've gotten something fired back at him," said Jules Roderick, head coach for pro-basketball team the Allentown Lions.

Head boy's basketball coach for William Allen High School, Doug Snyder, said he worked alongside Rice for a time in New Jersey.

"I know Mike a little bit through working basketball camps and he's very enthusiastic, very excitable guy but to see the behavior on the practice court during those Rutgers practices is just unacceptable," said Snyder.

Snyder said the athletic directors of the Allentown School District take the time to meet with their coaches prior to every season.

"We go over an entire notebook which has all kinds of dos and don'ts. They include the standards that we're held to, the ethical behavior that we're held to, court cases that might've arisen over the course of time," he said.

However Snyder said those standards seem to fade the higher the stakes, like Division 1.

"There's a lot of money that's being brought in every game night. There's all kinds of money being spent, money being received, TV contracts and all that, that doesn't happen at my level....and I think at times college coaches lose sight of the fact that they are educators and they are teachers," said Roderick.

In a response to Rice's firing, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a statement:

“This was a regrettable episode for the University, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice. It was the right and necessary action to take in light of the conduct displayed on the videotape.....As we move on from this incident, I am very optimistic that Rutgers will select a new head coach who not only puts a winning team on the court, but will make everyone proud of the example he sets every day for the young men in his charge.”