Eight months after parting ways with its coach and athletic director, Rutgers is still dealing with fallout from the Mike Rice scandal.
Ex-Rutgers player Derrick Randall reportedly filed a lawsuit Friday seeking damages for physical and verbal abuse he endured while playing under Rice. Among the defendants in the suit are Rice, former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti and school president Robert Barchi.
Rice was fired April 3 after ESPN broadcast video of the coach kicking and shoving players in practice, throwing basketballs at their heads and berating them with curse words and homophobic slurs. Pernetti had viewed the video last December yet only opted to suspend Rice for three games, while Barchi has said he knew of the video but did not watch it until April.
Randall left Rutgers this past spring, opting to transfer to Pittsburgh. According to the Courthouse News Service, Randall's lawsuit blames Rice for making him lose all confidence in himself and his athletic abilities and blames the Rutgers administrators for enabling the abuse.
"Coach Rice verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused Derrick through violent screaming, cursing and other humiliation tactics, including the use of homophobic slurs and other shockingly derogatory and discriminatory name calling," Randall's complaint states. "A photograph of Coach Rice grabbing Derrick by the neck and face on the bench during a game, with Derrick looking completely lost and helpless, speaks volumes, as does the video of such abusive behavior."
Randall has made a successful transition to Pittsburgh, making an impact off the bench in his first year with a new program. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 3.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game for the undefeated Panthers.
"I feel like I am finally away from the (stress), I’m calmer,” Randall told the New York Daily News last month. “I have a team that comforts me and basketball is fun again.”
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