Warning: This video may be shocking to some.
Dori has great memories of playing and coaching basketball, so he couldn’t believe his eyes when a video surfaced on ESPN showing a men’s college coach verbally and physically abusing players.
Rutgers University Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Rice was fired after the video went public. It shows him screaming expletives and throwing basketballs at players, and even kicking and shoving them. The full footage goes on for hours and hours.
“I was shocked, as a basketball coach myself, I was absolutely shocked at what I saw,” said Dori. “And the coach – he is a punk.”
Months ago, former Assistant Coach Eric Murdock alerted the Rutgers Athletic Director, who in turn alerted the University President. They suspended the coach for three games, forced him to take anger management classes, and fined him $75 thousand, all while keeping the video quiet.
But Murdock wasn’t satisfied, so he leaked the video footage to ESPN’s Outside The Lines, where it quickly made national news.
When the footage was first released, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti justified his decision to suspend Rice, rather than fire him, because he thought he could change him.
“I saw all of it. And, in fact, the tape that I know you’re being presented is not the full representation of what goes on at practice,” said Pernetti in an interview. “We have a Rutgers standard, and Mike Rice wavered from that Rutgers standard, and we penalized him for a first offense to re-educate him on the Rutgers standard and I can assure you on a going-forward basis that none of this behavior will occur.”
Under pressure, the Rutgers administration fired Rice Wednesday morning.
Dori thinks the administration wanted to cover up the incident, and as a consequence, he’s thinks some of the Rutgers administration should get the axe along with the coach.
“My question for the athletic director and the university President: how in the world was there not enough to fire this guy back in December and January,” said Dori, “when you guys saw this video tape?”
And based on the massive reaction, Dori thinks there might be enough public outcry to force out the administrators who let the bad behavior continue.
“Chris Christie has already weighed in, people like LeBron James have talked about how disgusted they were by what they saw on the tape,” said Dori.
The kicker, says Dori, is that in his statement to the press, the Coach Mike Rice never actually says that he regrets what he did. And that leads him to believe nothing would have changed had he stayed on as coach.
“Right now there’s no explanation for what’s on those films because there is no excuse for it,” said Rice. “I was wrong. And I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and the hardship that I’ve caused.”