Rutgers Players Defend Coach Mike Rice: College Sports News at YouWager

According to what YouWager has learned and what has been stated by two Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball players, former head coach Mike Rice is not the abusive tyrant he appears to be on a widely viewed video that got him fired.

The 44 year-old Rice was fired this week, the day after a video aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs.

Junior forward Wally Judge has said that some of those moments come across worse on camera than they really were.

Furthermore, Pittsburgh Panthers guard Travon Woodall also defended Rice, who recruited him when he was an assistant coach with the NFL team.

Rice left the Panthers to coach at Robert Morris before landing a job with the Scarlet Knights, where his record was 44-51 over three college basketball seasons.

The Pennsylvania native posted a 16-38 mark in the Big East, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. Rutgers went 15-16 this season and 5-13 in the league.

Rice was hired by the school in May 2010, and he brought assistant Jimmy Martelli with him from Robert Morris. Martelli resigned on Thursday.

Late last year when athletic director Tim Pernetti first saw the tape, coach Rice was suspended three games for improper conduct, fined $75,000 and required to take anger-management classes.