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I know a lot of folks here have talked about it, but just my two cents.

Look I need to say in the mid-80s my tennis coach used to have us stand at the net while he was feet from us across the net and he fired balls out of a hopper, rapid fire, at us as hard as it could hit them. Wanted us to stand our ground and make a play. Often we'd take one to the body, groin, or head.

I recall as a freshmen on the wrestling team, at like 100 pounds, getting put into "four corners" with four people three years older than me and maybe 30-40 pounds heavier than me pounded me into the ground. Sometimes the coach, maybe 100 pounds heavier would hop in and rub my face in the mat.

But that was 1983, not 2013.

Things have changed. Changed a lot. Changed for the better.

The Rutgers coach, assistant coach, and AD are gone. The President of the University and ANYBODY else that saw these tapes or heard about them must be gone as well.

More below the fold.

I am no expert on Rutgers. But outside of Harvard, Northwestern, MIT, and schools like Stanford, that I think are top-top-tier educational institutions, I always viewed Rutgers right below them if not on the same level. A place more concerned about education than sports.

Rutgers was like Tulane or Vanderbilt. A place you would be so proud if your kid graduated from. Education first. The best of the best, even if not "Ivy League" schools.

Now I am sure all those school would like to put out a very competitive football (see Stanford BTW), basketball, heck a women's tennis team. But that was secondary to education, education, education.

I wonder what happened to Rutgers which in recent years, and maybe with the chance to enter the Big 10 (or whatever they call it now), has seemed to focus more on sports, with maybe less of a focus on what college should be about.

Makes me sick to my stomach.

I will just end with one other thing as I watch this video.

I am about the most laid back dude you will find. Non-violent. But if I was a few of these folks in that video, like a foot taller and maybe 50 pounds on Mike Rice, that they had the self control not to just turn on him and beat the man down stuns me! He is a lucky man.

The throwing of the basketballs, even the terrible homophobic names used, is bad enough. But you don't put your hands on me, much less push me like that. As a 5'4 130 pound male if he did that to me I would have been on my ass and flying across the floor. Not acceptable on so many levels.

Good for this players showing so much restraint. They were better men then all those around them that should have had their backs (cause they are really just young adults it not straight out "kids) ..... and didn't.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Totally Get Why The Players Don't "Turn" (7+ / 0-)

    on the coach and go after him, they want to lose their scholarships. Their education. But I still am not sure if I was treated like that I could temper myself.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:51:13 AM PDT

  •  public consciousness (12+ / 0-)

    about the genuine dangers of bullying has only become mainstream in the past couple of decades. many schools, on all levels, still respond inadequately, even as more studies prove the lifelong impacts bullying can have. we, as a society, are improving, but this story shows we still have far to go.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:54:39 AM PDT

  •  With the AD just now being canned (4+ / 0-)

    the slate should be swept clean:

    former Senator Bill Bradley as the new interim Rutgers President

    New Athletic Director: C Vivian Stringer

    New Basketball Coach: Ben Howland

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

    by annieli on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:56:35 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. I Am Not The Kind Of Guy That Sues (6+ / 0-)

      folks. But if I had a kid in this video. I knew the AD if not the President of the University had seen it (and who know who else), and only gave Rice a three game suspension, well I'd have a lawyer on speed dial and about to be making Rutgers write a large check.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Karmic justice (4+ / 0-)

        since they screwed the prior men's BB coach who's now at Cleveland State and installed the son of the long-time baseball coach

        Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

        by annieli on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:06:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good reasons to can the AD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fred Hill, Jr. is an assistant coach for the Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball team. He had previously served as the head men's basketball coach at Rutgers University. His father is Rutgers baseball coach Fred Hill, Sr. and his uncle, Brian Hill is a former NBA coach.

          Hill had a 47–77 record in four years at Rutgers. He recruited and lost 12 players including Mike Rosario, the first McDonald's All American in Rutgers history.

          Despite a losing record, Hill had been told after the 2009–10 season that he would be back for a fifth season. On April 8, Pernetti told Hill he would not be allowed to return. Eventually, Hill was allowed to resign in return for an $850,000 settlement

          Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

          by annieli on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:07:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  climate of incompetence (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, SilentBrook
            Thursday, March 2, 2006  Rutgers men's basketball coach Gary Waters resigned yesterday, ending a stay of more than four seasons at the school during which the Scarlet Knights failed to land a spot in the NCAA tournament.

            Waters said he signed a buyout that is worth $550,000 initially and worth "quite a bit" overall. He said he was not forced to resign, but he was aware the school was not satisfied with his performance.

            Waters, who has a 76-73 record in five seasons, came under fire after he missed Rutgers's game against Marquette on Feb. 12 after flying to Ohio the day before to be inducted into the athletic hall of fame at Kent State, where he coached from 1996 to 2001. A snowstorm delayed flights the next day. . .

            Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

            by annieli on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:10:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  your examples (5+ / 0-)

    could at least be argued as have some training value.  This coach on the other hand, is just being an asshole.

    •  And I Didn't Take Them Remotely As Abuse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, melvynny

      But I am pretty sure if any of them was put on YouTube today, well who knows what people would think. I know for sure the "Four Square" thing would really not have gone over well. But I have never hurt. Again, never abused. Just maybe really had my ass kicked a lot :)!

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:09:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rutgers Graduate former wrestler (7+ / 0-)

    Rutgers is a big, diverse well funded university. New Jersey is a rich state, and Rutgers is a shared value in N.J., it gets huge support. For poor white kids like me, or brown kids from Newark, or kids of Korean immigrants from south Jersey, Rutgers is the way in to the middle class. It prepared me for law school and my eventual career. It is dominated by a progressive spirit and a history of activism. So it pains me greatly to see this bullshit.
         That said, I can't be alone when I say my HS wrestling coach  engaged in nearly the same antics, the same screaming and homophobic insults. But you have to realize, on a team with a coach who passionately believes in you, who loves you, in a strange way, you would do anything for that coach, endure any humiliation, for his approval. That's why players didn't fight back, and they didn't complain. A coach is right up there with god to a young athlete. And like a surrogate father, to this day, I forgive my coach his failings and limitations, because he gave me an unshakeable confidence and faith in my abilities and really believed in me at a time in my life when I didn't. It's a complicated realationship, that's for sure.

    •  Times Have Changed, Are Changing, Will Change (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wenchacha, MRA NY, SilentBrook, kaliope

      My mother used to tan my ass with a belt in the 70s. That is clearly not allowed today in polite circles. I often talk about my mom here as a "Rocket Star" (and she is an amazing mom) but that was how she was raised, so what she did to me.

      Time has passed since then, like 30 plus years and if her son took a belt to her granddaughter, well there would be a fight going on. My brother would lose.

      What you saw in that video would have easily worked maybe 20 or 30 years ago, no questions asked, maybe even 10 years ago. But it won't work now. It just isn't acceptable.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:17:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  retired teacher (3+ / 0-)

      As a retired NYC teacher, I would not want my every word recorded out of context.  Sometimes I felt the need to embarrass kids to get them to work harder.  Sometimes I had to ridicule them, or ignore them.  Teaching is parenting--with 30 kids at the same time.  At times I'm sure I overreacted-- but I never used improper language--or bigoted code words.
       These videos are damning--are not ambiguous--do not show a coach who was making a student better--either athletically or psychologically.  Even out of context--these tapes demand all those employed at this taping being fired.  This is Penn. State--if you knew this was going on, and didn't report it, good bye.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:31:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vince Lombardi stereotype stubbornly remains (8+ / 0-)

    Why is this behavior condoned in coaching? Because of the myth of Vince Lombardi/Bobby Knight/Bill Parcells coaches. Look at Mike Krzyzewski or John Wooden. Why isn't that the model of what a successful college coach should be like?

    IMO the fact that Rice was a losing coach made this an easy decision. OTOH, if RU was in the final four (once in 1976), does anyone really believe they would fire the coach?

  •  There's something very different (9+ / 0-)

    about what your tennis coach did and what Rice did.

    Debate the merits for sure, but there was a purpose to him firing balls at you. The ability to react quickly with balls flying at your face and crotch is a necessary skill in tennis. As he's correct that you have to shake fear of the ball and just make the play.

    That was training, albeit a little bit dramatic and perhaps not the most efficient use of his time. It would be akin to Mike Rice using a blocking pad to shove players as they go up for layups. That's training them to deal with hard, balance-changing contact on the way to the hole.

    What Rice did would be akin to your tennis coach watching you play a practice match, then firing the ball at your head as you watched a forehand sail long.

    I agree with the general thrust of your diary, but I just wanted to make that distinction. There's a line somewhere in sports coaching that can't be crossed. I'm not sure where it is, but I know when it's been crossed. When contact goes from instructive to punitive, that's where the line becomes in plain view.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

    by Grizzard on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:17:26 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. You Said (3+ / 0-)
      As he's correct that you have to shake fear of the ball and just make the play.
      I was the best player on the team from my freshman through senior year. I got tagged with balls all the time in that drill, but the point was to make those that didn't go to tennis camps and other things (like myself) not "fear" the tennis ball.

      There was a point. A valid point.

      Cause if you were at the net and I could hit a shot from close range and target your body, I'd do just that. Can't hit a ball back to me if it bounces off your chest :).

      But still not sure that would be allowed today if seen on YouTube.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:22:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To answer your question ... (4+ / 0-)

    It's called the Big Ten Conference and, if you somehow think that Rutgers' entry into the conference will raise the Big Ten's overall academic standing, you're sadly misinformed. The Big Ten was founded as a consortium of research universities and is a pioneer in creating parallel organizations for academic and athletic excellence.

    I am no expert on Rutgers. But outside of Harvard, Northwestern, MIT, and schools like Stanford, that I think are top-top-tier educational institutions, I always viewed Rutgers right below them if not on the same level.
    Rutgers, a public institution, by the way, unlike Tulane and Vanderbilt; is a fine university system, but all Big Ten schools except for Nebraska are long-standing members of the presitgious Association of American Universities. Rutgers only gained admission in 1989 unlike, say, Michigan, which has been an accredited member since 1909.
    •  I Think You Are Miss Reading (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY, SilentBrook

      five of my family members went to the University of Illinois. I went to Western Illinois (then LSU), part of the IL system. I got a clue here.

      My point was I always had this idea, even if wrong, that Rutgers was a quality school.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:26:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh I Should Note That The Big Ten (0+ / 0-)

      conference, names after then schools, not has 12. Just saying.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had put off watching this until just now. (7+ / 0-)

    I knew this would be grim.  

    My office works with students to help them get into colleges, and many of these students have worked hard to develop their talent in sports as a means to education.  

    Because of our work with the students on their academic profiles, their testing, contacting schools, and other in-depth elements of the application process, I can say that these young adults still have "a lot of kid" inside.  The students tend to be optimistic and hopeful about the future.  The idea of a single one of these young people being subjected to that kind of treatment just turns my stomach.  

    It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

    by ciganka on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:23:28 AM PDT

    •  I Can Almost Understand (5+ / 0-)

      if you want to grab me by my jersey and turn me around to face you. Throw a basketball at my feet (not my head or groin as we also saw). I am a little "old school" with things like that. Heck even yelling 24/7 and cussing me out like a drunken sailor (not the homophobic slurs BTW).

      But those shoves where over-the-top by like a factor of 10. I think any lawyer could argue that was assault.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:34:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only that, webranding... (4+ / 0-)

        I saw him actually kick one of the players in the ass.  THAT'S the part I couldn't take.  Just who does he think he is????????

        Let me explain the order of things to you. There's the aristocracy, the upper class, the middle class, working class, dumb animals, waiters, creeping things, head lice, people who eat packet soup, then you. -- Gareth Blackstock, Chef!

        by avamontez on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:46:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A few comments (3+ / 0-)

    This style of coaching is a holdover from older times where coaches were more like drill sergeants and it was considered ok to verbally and in some cases to physically abuse players to get your point across.  Burnt hand teaches best?  That's the equivalent in sports.

    This is no longer considered as acceptable, but it still does exist in sports even below pro ranks.  Walk into the lockerroom of a high school footbal team and likely as not you'll find a coach preaching fire and brimstone and using fear and intimidation on his players.  The common attitude and acceptance of this sort of behavior is probably a big reason why he was not originally fired, and why some (especially conservatives) think it was wrong to fire him now.

    But there is another reason: athletics are big business for colleges.  Firing a coach is very disruptive.  Firing him NOW is much, much easier than firing him a few months ago simply because doing it now is less disruptive for the program.

  •  In some ways, indentured servitude (5+ / 0-)

    Is alive and well.   These students do receive scholarships, for an industry that makes their university millions of dollars.   If they are injured, fail to meet standards, etc. they can be cut and lose their scholarship at any moment.

    Students are not guaranteed an education or outcome; but they will be used to sell shoes, clothes and gear for the university as walking billboards.

    Per NCAA rules they cannot accept money or gifts.  They must comply with specific jobs that are within set categories if they want funds; otherwise they receive none.

    Some universities get around this in many ways that later get them in trouble.

    But as both of these industries grow - the NCAA tournament divides up a multi-billion dollar contract, and each year, college football turns over millions of dollars on the backs of kids who can (and do) risk their health for the university and a shot to play at the next level, we continue to provide no assurances as to what will happen next, and no protection as to their future.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:42:21 AM PDT

  •  My DI in basic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, SilentBrook

    Never raised his voice but we ended up honor platoon at the end of 8 weeks.

    None of my coaches in HS were abusive either (this was 62-66).

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:57:50 AM PDT

    •  Maybe I Will Tell Something I Shouldn't (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, janmtairy, jabney, SilentBrook

      about me. I started working for myself about 4 years ago. Before that I was yelled at a lot. High level jobs. I didn't like it. Didn't find it acceptable.

      For once I had a client yell at me the other day, cause well I asked him why he was behind on his deadlines. He just yelled and yelled at me, I was the "vendor" how dare me question him.

      At the end I said to him you can "go fuck yourself. I am done with you."

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:04:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It can be fun to fire a customer! (0+ / 0-)

        I had a friend/employer who ran a wholesale distributorship. Had a retail-store owning customer who would always call after recieving an order, complaining that his product was damaged. We'd typically give discounts in such situations, but as this continued, we trained the warehouse staff to overprotect his orders: extra foam peanuts, more boxes to fit the order and the extra peanuts, etc. But he continued to make the same complaints.

        Finally, my friend had enough, writes customer a letter: apologizing for the ongoing difficulties, and then stating that since we'd done everything we could to satisfy him, we'd have to drop him so that he could find a distributor who could live up to his standards. Customer calls as soon as he gets the letter, full of apologies and "the damage isn't all that bad", so can he stay our customer? We did take him back, and he never complained about damaged product again.

        PrezObama's only mistake in the sequester is that he assumed that the Republicans would be more loyal to their oath of office to serve the people than their oath to Norquist to never close tax loopholes.

        by SilentBrook on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:44:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I was a coach of both boys and girls (6+ / 0-)

    primarily freshmen, but occasionally sophomores and the very rare junion - it was junior varsity, and it involved a LOT of teaching, including about teamwork

    I never felt that embarrassing a player in front of teams was a constructive approach, unless the only way you could get them to work together was to get them all in common to hate you, in which case I think you probably are not a very good coach in the first place.

    I could be strict on some things.  I was very demanding about physical conditioning and getting basics down pat.

    But my most successful season was the last I coached, in 2007.  I did not have as much talent, so I took a different approach.  I empowered the captains to make a lot of the decisions.  Note that I said captains, plural.  That ensured it was not one person.  In fact it was three.  They would often decide who would start, and in what positions.  They were empowered to call plays on the field, to change the formation we were using, to decide who would take free or penalty kicks.

    As I recall, we lost one, tied one, and won the rest, including beating the team to whom we had lost.  Given the level of skill with which they arrived before me, and their total lack of physical conditioning, they came a long way.  

    We not only did lots of repetitive sprints, we also did flexibility exercises right out of yoga.  I would force them to dribble holding their heads up with their hands so they could see the field and only watch the ball with peripheral vision.  I made them get down like crabs and then play soccer -  since you really couldn't run you had to cooperate and look for passes to teammates to advance the ball.

    Practices were hard, but we also tried to have some fun.

    As a result, games seemed easier, even against faster and more skilled individual opponents.  As a team, they found ways to win.  And because of their conditioning we scored a LOT of goals at the end of the half and in the latter part of the 2nd half.

    The point is that one can even with younger players challenge them without demeaning them.  What that Rutgers coach did was demeaning, belittling, abusive.  Were I the parent of a minor child who had that done to them I would be pressing criminal charges for assault, and/or filing lawsuits for intimidation, and I would sue the university if there were retaliation in taking away a scholarship.

    I am not litiiginous by nature, but this was way over the pale.

    Given the number of people who knew, and for how long, it is its own sick parallel to the Penn State situation - ironically another state school with a good academic reputation that was a not a long-time member of the Big Ten but is now in the conference.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:21:29 AM PDT

  •  My coach in high school (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRA NY, SilentBrook

    was a Bobby Knight wannabe. He believed in motivation by intimidation. He had us do drills that were potentially dangerous. There were things he did that I would characterize as psychologically abusive--though never physical.

    At the same time, he loved us. He was passionate about winning and convinced us we could do anything if he worked hard enough. We won a lot more games than we lost.

    Playing under this coach was complicated for me as a teenager. I'm still somewhat traumatized by the experience, and think about it often, 40 years later. I understand the need for discipline, and am not opposed to tough workouts, and can forgive a coach occasional losses of temper.

    But I now have a 14 year old playing school sports, and I do not want him to go through what I went through. I am keeping a watchful eye on his coaches.

  •  I can't agree to praise the other players (0+ / 0-)

    for showing "restraint" in not turning violently on their coach.

    They're allowing him to abuse them with impunity for one or both of two reasons: either because they recognize that they would face worse consequences from the system if they did (i.e., be thrown off the team and/or lose their scholarships), or because they have internalized the notion that he has the authority to do that to them and they do not have the right to retaliate.

    Neither of those is praiseworthy.  Or blameworthy, for that matter.  At best it's smart of them, in terms of self-preservation; at worst it's heartbreaking.

  •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

    don't put your hands on me.

    if i was there and saw him do it to my kid...  i really don't know what i would do.

    luckily that hasn't happened to me or my kids.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:41:51 AM PDT

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