Mike Rice (Insane Ex-Rutgers Coach) Is Maniacally Coaching 7th Grade Girls
About what you'd expect from the state school of New Jersey.
Anyone with kids who play sports is familiar with the age-old question -- any time it's revealed that a coach of a collegiate sport engages in some degree of borderline (or in many cases, over-the-borderline) abusive behavior, we debate with our kid-having friends and debate it even more intensely in our own minds:
Would I let my kid play for [fill in name of Serial Screamer here]?"
If you think that stressing positivity and civility, and teaching with some level of decorum constitute the "right" approach, then your answer will typically be "No." If you believe that things like throwing chairs, dog-cussing teenagers, and homophobic slurs are some form of "tough love," your answer will typically be "Yes."
Which brings us to recently ousted Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice.
To refresh, for those of you who have been obsessing over Kobe's shredded Achilles tendon or Tiger's mangled scorecard over the last couple days, Rice was recently terminated after three lackluster seasons at Rutgers when videos suggesting rampant abusive behavior of his players at Rutgers surfaced on ESPN (behavior up to and including throwing basketballs at them for mistakes and lobbing the aforementioned homophobic slurs their way when they didn't meet his expectations).
Here is your video refresher:
(BONUS: The Rice situation even spawned a hysterical Saturday Night Live skit the Saturday after Rice was let go. Oh, you haven't seen it? Well, problem solved.)
So with Rice out of work, this apparently has given him more time to coach his seventh-grade daughter's AAU team in New Jersey. It's also given the parents of a gaggle of 12-year-old girls in north Jersey a chance to answer firsthand the question that I posed above -- would I let my daughter play for (filling in the blank here...) Mike Rice?
Well, according to a series of tweets from Brian Geltzeiler, the founder of hoopscritic.com (excellent basketball Web site, by the way), Rice has essentially just picked up where he left off at Rutgers in terms of his volume and demeanor:
One of my moles is watching Mike Rice coach 12 year old girls at Holmdel High in NJ right now as crazy as ever yelling @ both refs and kids— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) April 14, 2013
Just this afternoon Rice told a 12 year old girl,"I can't even look at you" and the ref told my guy he would have T'd him up 2x if it was HS— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) April 14, 2013
Just to clarify.I'm not joking.Mike Rice is actually coaching a 7th grade girls AAU team today and he's still acting like a mad man....— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) April 14, 2013
Now, in fairness to both sides of the story, USAToday.com cites the Asbury Park Press as a source indicating that perhaps the version of the story being conveyed by Geltzeiler is, at the very least, exaggerated:
According to The Asbury Park Press, Rice coaching this AAU team isn't news as he's been involved with his daughter Katie's team for some time. Also, according to the paper, parents of girls on the AAU team pushed back on Twitter after Deadspin's report surfaced Sunday, defending Rice and claiming distortion on the part of the contributor.
"The Deadspin report is a gross misrepresentation of the facts," a person close to the AAU team told SportsNet New York. "The team's parents are fully behind Coach Rice and his instruction of their daughters."
I texted Geltzeiler last night to ask him about the reliability of his sources and he unequivocally stands behind the people he knows who were in the gym conveying this story.
So as of right now, it appears there's a good chance that Rice's tearful post-firing apology didn't take:
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