The strange, twisted journey for Glen Rice Jr. at Georgia Tech came to a strange, twisted end on Tuesday.
Rice, the Yellow Jackets' leading scorer (13.0 ppg) and rebounder (6.7 rpg) in what was a bumpy first season under Brian Gregory (11-20 overall, 4-12 ACC), was dismissed from the team following an odd incident last Thursday.
Responding to a call of a shot fired near a Midtown Atlanta night club, the police pulled over a Cadillac Escalade that Rice was a passenger in. It was being driven by graduate assistant London Warren, who was charged with DUI, while two handguns were recovered from the vehicle. The third passenger, Steven Pryor, was charged with discharging a firearm while under the influence. His story was that the gun accidentally went off while he tried to remove it from between two seats, and Pryor was also carrying a firearms license.
The charge against Rice was permitting unlawful operation of a vehicle, which a local criminal defense attorney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he had not seen charged against anyone in eight years as a prosecutor or in 10 years as a defense attorney.
The legitimacy of the charge, though, appears to be a non-factor in the big picture with the son of 15-year NBA veteran Glen Rice. This was rather the final straw that broke the camel's back.
Rice first clashed with former coach Paul Hewitt, then even more with Gregory both on and off the court. He was suspended for the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules. Then after a pair of costly decisions that led to turnovers late in a 59-50 loss at Wake Forest on Feb. 15, Rice was suspended indefinitely, never seeing the floor again as a Yellow Jacket.
The nightclub incident happened the same day that Georgia Tech's season unceremoniously came to a close with a 54-36 loss to Miami in the ACC tournament.
With one year of eligibility remaining and loads of baggage, the chances appear slim that Rice will get another shot at a high-major Division I program.
On the Georgia Tech side, despite a season to forget, every key contributor besides Rice will be back next year for Gregory. On top of that, he has a stellar recruiting class coming in, including shooting guard Chris Bolden, power forward Robert Carter and small forward Marcus Hunt — three locals all ranked in the Rivals150 for 2012.
Given the entire situation, it appears that Brian Gregory made the right move, and the program should be in far better shape next season without Rice around as a senior.
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