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Rutgers Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Jimmy Martelli Resigns

Jimmy Martelli (Credit: Scarletknights.com)

Jimmy Martelli (Credit: Scarletknights.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Jimmy Martelli has resigned his position as assistant men’s basketball coach, Rutgers University confirmed on Wednesday.

“I am sickened that as an assistant coach I contributed in any way to an unacceptable culture. Wednesday I resigned from Rutgers and I hope that coaches on all levels will learn something important from these events,” Martelli said in a statement to the Associated Press. “For my actions, I am deeply sorry and I apologize to the players from the bottom of my heart.”

The resignation comes on the heels of ex-head coach Mike Rice being fired after a video showing the basketball coach verbally and physically abusing his players caused a public outcry.

In the clips, Rice was seen heaving a basketball at a player’s head and kicking another.

Rice made no attempt on Wednesday to excuse or explain the videotaped behavior that led to his downfall.

“I’ve let so many people down,” Rice told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello. “My players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans … My family, sitting in the house, just huddled around because of the fact that their father is an embarrassment to them.

“It’s troubling, but at some time maybe I’ll try to explain it. But right now there’s no explanation for what’s on those films. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong. I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I’ve caused.”

The video wasn’t a surprise to Scarlet Knights athletic director Tim Pernetti, who after watching the tape suspended Rice for three games and fined him approximately $75,000 in December. Upon returning to the program following his suspension, the university had the 44-year-old Rice take part in sensitivity training.

“Jimmy was spoken to about the matter,” Pernetti said prior to Martelli’s resignation. “We dealt with that. Certainly the tape focused on Mike, but it brought some other things to light that we dealt with at the same time that we dealt with Mike.”

Martelli was previously an assistant coach under Rice at Robert Morris University for three seasons, beginning in 2007. When Rice was hired by Rutgers in 2010, Martelli accompanied him to Piscataway. He was Rice’s first hire upon taking over the program, according to The Star-Ledger.

Martelli’s father, Phil Martelli, has been the head coach at Saint Joseph’s University since 1995.

And the dominoes continue to fall. Are you surprised by this resignation? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…