Rutgers Firing: Happily Ever After?

Mike Rice (Al Bello/Getty); Kevin Ware (Andy Lyons/Getty); coach Andy Enfield (Tom Pennington/Getty)
Mike Rice (Al Bello/Getty); Kevin Ware (Andy Lyons/Getty); coach Andy Enfield (Tom Pennington/Getty)

NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth explains in a piece for the Huffington Post why he won't join "the cacophony of Rice haters" after the video of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice's treatment of players got him fired.

Every sports fan was outraged by the video of former Rutgers men's head basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally assaulting his players. Lebron James and New Jersey Gov. Christie spoke for most of the country when expressing anger and disappointment in the behavior of head basketball coach Mike Rice. As the video clip circulated, the national fury grew, and sports and news personalities as well as average fans began to call for Rice's job. Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti capitulated to the masses and decided to throw the coach to the bloodthirsty mob, hours after defending his original punishment — which amounted to more or less a slap on the wrist. Still unsatisfied, the mob's pressure eventually claimed Pernetti's job as well. Ahh! Now all is right in college sports. The sports media and fans will, of course, spend the next several days satisfied and riding their morality high horse, believing "We rid college sports of a monster and an administrator, who exhibited poor judgment. Thanks to us, student-athletes are safe."

Congrats, never again will a kid get kicked in the ass by a head coach. Instead they will continue to be kicked in the ass by this corrupt system. I may be in the minority here, but I cannot join the cacophony of Rice haters …

The system is such that all coaches have this unchecked power over players. So if you are still doing your victory lap because you think your outrage helped oust the one coach exploiting his power, STOP! The stakes are very high and the pressure on coaches is intense to have a winning team or at least a decent run in the post-season to just keep their job. We just watched one of the great tournament Cinderellas of all time, Florida Gulf Coast, have a fairy tale season complete with a "happy ending." Coach Andy Enfield takes a job at University of Southern California for more than 10 times what he was getting paid at FGCU. He leaves the Eagles players — the young men who arguably have equal claim to his recent success — behind with nothing, but a story to tell …

There was a third big college basketball story in the news last week that stirred the emotion of fans: Kevin Ware's gruesome injury. Everyone rightfully expressed sympathy for Kevin, including University of Louisville officials, who proclaimed Kevin and his family will not have to worry about paying the medical bills. Maybe Louisville leadership would have made that decision even if Kevin's injury wasn't so jarring and public. I would hope so. But there are no guidelines encouraging this behavior or even rules enforcing it …


Read Domonique Foxworth's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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