Rutgers University officials knew months ago that men’s basketball coach Mike Rice had gone way over the line in the treatment of his players. It was November when the athletic director was given a videotape of Rice kicking players, throwing basketballs at them and using an anti-gay slur.
The AD decided in December, with the school president’s blessing, to fine Rice and suspend him for a few games. Only after the video aired this week on an ESPN program did Rutgers decide to act, by firing Rice.
The athletic director, Tim Pernetti, needed to be shown the door, too, and finally he stepped down Friday. Originally it was reported Pernetti’s job was safe because he had helped get Rutgers admitted to the mighty Big Ten Conference — thus securing additional millions in annual revenue for the school.
Never let it be said that big-time college athletics programs don’t have their priorities in order.