Rutgers suspended coach Mike Rice today for three games after a school investigation revealed inappropriate behavior and abusive language used while interacting with players.
Rice allegedly threw basketballs at players' heads during an incident during his first or second season as coach, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported. The paper reported the suspension will cost Rice $74,905.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti handed down the punishment but also said the violations of athletic department policy do not put Rice's job in jeopardy. Pernetti said he became aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Rice in recent weeks and the school investigated. Pernetti also acknowledged having previous discussions with Rice about his fiery demeanor on the sideline during games.
"It's a pattern, I think I would say," Pernetti said. "But certainly something that, once we were made aware of it, deal with it in a very proactive manner."
In addition to the suspension, Rice will undergo anger management classes and sensitivity training when he returns to work an independent monitor will watch practices, the paper reported.
Rice apologized in a statement released by the university and said he was committed to becoming a better man and coach.
"I sincerely apologize to our players, both past and present," Rice said in the statement. "To our incredible assistant coaches and staff; to President (Robert) Barchi; the Board of Governors and Director of Athletics Tim Pernetti for their belief in me."
Rice will miss three nonconference home games. He is scheduled to return to his coaching duties Dec. 29 with his first game following the suspensions on Jan. 2 against Syracuse.
Associated head coach David Cox will serve as interim coach with his first game in that role slated for Sunday against Alabama-Birmingham. He will also lead Rutgers against Howard n Dec. 21 and Rider on Dec. 28.
The Scarlet Knights are off to a 6-2 start this season.
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