Rutgers board member had called for coach's firing

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The lawyer for a Rutgers Board of Governors member says he called for former basketball coach Mike Rice to be fired back in December.

The chair of the governing board said Monday that athletics committee chairman Mark Hershorn was the only board member to view video of Rice back in December. The recording showed Rice in practice shoving and kicking players and using gay slurs as he berated them.

But lawyer Jennifer Joseph says that statement neglected to say that Hershorn immediately called for Rice to be fired.

She would not say where Hershorn made that request.

Gov. Chris Christie and others have suggested that the board member should step down.

Christie on Monday called Rice an "animal."

Rice was fired last week after the video was made public.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's governor is describing the fired basketball coach at Rutgers as an "animal." And Chris Christie says university officials were wrong when they decided not to fire coach Mike Rice months ago when they first saw the video in which he was seen shoving and kicking basketball players and using anti-gay slurs.

Christie has issued statements about the episode, but this is the first time he's taken questions at a news conference.

Christie said he viewed the video not only as a governor but as the father of a college athlete. His son Andrew plays baseball at Princeton.

He said the video cost the coach his credibility with young athletes and their families. Christie asked, "What parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son after this video?"

The school's athletic director, Tim Pernetti, resigned last week, as did an assistant basketball coach and the university's top lawyer. Some at Rutgers had called for the school's president, Robert Barchi, to also step down. But Christie today, while criticizing the fired coach and those who let him keep his job, defended Barchi's performance. He says Barchi should have seen the video himself -- but that people in charge of large organizations sometimes need to delegate responsibility.

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