Developing story:

Press Box: Rutgers assistant quits amid ongoing scandal

The SportsXchange

The fallout from the Mike Rice's behavior as head basketball coach at Rutgers continued Thursday.

One of Rice's trusted assistants, Jimmy Martelli, resigned his post, while news broke that the university president Robert Barchi never requested to watch the video of Rice hurling basketballs at his players' heads and shouting homophobic taunts during practices.

Also, the university reportedly must pay Rice a $100,000 bonus for lasting the full season.

On Wednesday, Rutgers fired Rice.

People around the Scarlet Knights basketball program referred to Martelli as "Baby Rice", according to ESPN. Martelli reportedly exhibited some of the same coaching tactics as Rice, including physical abuse and harsh language.

Former Rutgers player Tyree Graham said Martelli "used to belittle players by the way he talked." He also said Martelli and Rice were "best friends. But Rice would yell at Martelli in practice as well."

Martelli can be seen shoving a player on the DVD that athletic director Tim Pernetti saw in November.

As for Barchi, the Star-Ledger reported he trusted the judgment of Pernetti and an outside investigation, which concluded that Rice's acts didn't warrant dismissal. Rice was instead suspended for three games. The newspaper cited a source familiar with the situation.

According to multiple reports, had Rice been fired in December, when he was disciplined, he wouldn't have been eligible for the $100,000 bonus.

Rice made $622,500 last season under a pact that included incentives for winning games and graduating players.

--Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke, who led the Wolverines to this weekend's Final Four, was selected as men's College Basketball Player of the Year by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Jim Larranaga, who guided Miami to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships, was selected as The AP's men's Coach of the Year.

The awards were announced as part of the festivities leading up to the Final Four in Atlanta on Saturday.

Burke is averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 assists per game this season. He received 31 votes, ahead of Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. (16) and Indiana's Victor Oladipo (10).

Larranaga, 63, had 29 votes, beating out Saint Louis' Jim Crews (19) and Gonzaga's Mark Few (11) for the coaching award. He led the Hurricanes to a 29-7 record and a ranking as high as No. 2 in the weekly AP Poll.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former Auburn football coach Gene Chizik vehemently refuted a report that said former Auburn players have accused the school of changing grades, bribery and a laundry list of other allegations while Chizik was guiding the program to its national championship in 2010.

Three former Tigers, including Mike McNeil who is on trial for armed robbery, detailed the allegations to former New York Times and Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts, whose report appears on her Website Roopstigo.com. Chizik equates the report to some of the controversy surrounding former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, whose eligibility was questioned by the NCAA.

"The recent story published by Selena Roberts is more of the same. It once again portrays Auburn University, current and former coaches, professors, fans, supporters and community officials in a false light," Chizik said in a statement released by his agent.

Chizik was fired last year after the team finished 3-9, two seasons after he brought Auburn a national championship. He finished with a 38-38 record in four seasons at Auburn. He was replaced by former Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn.
View Comments (8)