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UWEC Coach, AD react to Rutgers misconduct, firing

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Rutgers' men's basketball coach Mike Rice was fired Friday after video of him pushing and throwing basketballs at players was publicized. Rice is also heard using gay slurs in the video.

The New Jersey University's athletic director issued a statement saying he was wrong for not taking further action after seeing the video last fall.

U.W. Eau Claire director of athletics Scott Kilgallon said it was the right move. Without getting into specifics, he said he dealt with a similar issue in a previous job.

"It was definitely a case where i thought the welfare of the student athlete was in danger. It was definitely a case of embarrassing behavior. I did try to mentor that out but there's a point where you realize certain behaviors can't be mentored out and people can't change," Kilgallon said.

U.W. Eau Claire men's basketball coach Matt Siverling said coaches use a wide variety of techniques to motivate players, but Rice's actions don't represent most of them.

"There's a lot of pressure in coaching, at times a coach may let his emotions get the best of him, but I think this is a very isolated situation," Siverling said.

"Families have an expectation when a player goes and plays at a certain university for a certain coach. They expect their kids to be treated in a respectful manner," he said.

"You can build somebody up with what you say, which is what we want, or on the negative side, you can be negative and tear somebody down," Kilgallon said

He said he hasn't had any issues like this in Eau Claire. He also said coaches who mistreat players should be reprimanded, but schools should consider different consequences depending on what happened.


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