Rutgers fires men's basketball coach Mike Rice

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Once the video went viral, Mike Rice's coaching days at Rutgers were over.

Now the question is whether anyone else will lose their jobs -- including the athletic director who, in December, suspended and fined Rice for the abusive behavior, and the university president who signed off on it.

Rice was fired Wednesday, one day after a video surfaced of him hitting, shoving and berating his players with anti-gay slurs. The taunts were especially troubling behavior at Rutgers, where freshman student Tyler Clementi killed himself in 2010 after his roommate used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man in his dormitory.

It also came at an especially embarrassing time for the NCAA, with the country focused on the Final Four basketball tournaments this weekend.

Rice, 44 and in his third season with Rutgers, apologized outside his home in Little Silver, N.J.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the tape by a former employee in November and, after an independent investigator was hired to review it, Rice was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger-management classes. University president Robert Barchi agreed to the penalty.

Later Wednesday, 13 faculty members posted a letter on the internet to the school's trustees and Board of Governors demanding the resignation of Barchi. It said his handling of the "homophobic and misogynist abuse" was inexcusable.

Pernetti initially said Tuesday he and Barchi viewed the video in December. The president issued a statement Wednesday, saying he didn't see it until Tuesday and then moved to fire the coach for repeated abusive conduct. Through a school spokesman, Pernetti backed up his president and said Barchi did not view the video until this week.

"[On Tuesday], I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior," Barchi said in a statement. "I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University."

The video shows numerous clips of Rice at practice during his three years at the school firing basketballs at players, hitting them in the back, legs, feet and shoulders. It also shows him grabbing players by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice can also be heard yelling obscenities and using gay slurs.

"Don't tell me that's the old way. That's the wrong way," said John Thompson Jr., a Hall of Famer who led Georgetown to the 1984 national title. Thompson called the images "child abuse."

The Rice video drew outrage on campus and all the way to the capital in Trenton, with lawmakers and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie supporting the firing at the state's flagship public university.

The videotape was given to Pernetti by former director of player development, Eric Murdock, who was hired by Rice in 2010. The two had a falling out over Murdock's appearances at a camp, and Pernetti said Murdock's contract was not renewed for last season. Murdock, who said he was fired, compiled the video after losing his job.

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