Rutgers Players Break Silence, Want Interim Coach David Cox To Lead Team Forward
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — For the first time since the Rutgers scandal broke, the school’s basketball players are talking about that shocking video that got their coach fired and who they want to replace him.
“Now it is time for us to move forward and better the Rutgers name,” forward Wally Judge said.
Judge said he doesn’t need to see videotape of then-coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and using gay slurs because he was right there and said he never felt threatened, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday night.
“The things seen on those tapes weren’t as people said them to be,” Judge said.
Judge and other players came to a university meeting and finally talked about the scandal, a national saga that includes whistleblower, Eric Murdock, who was fired back in July and is now suing for wrongful termination, saying he was punished for complaining about Rice.
Rice, who was first suspended and fined in December, was fired last week.
The next one to go was the school’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, who resigned under pressure. Assistant coach Jimmy Martelli and Rutgers interim general counsel John Wolf also resigned.
Many players said interim coach David Cox should get the head coaching job, saying he’s been a strong leader during a difficult time.
Susan Kelly, the mother of player Logan Kelly, said after all the firings, forced resignations and back office intrigue, the school needs stability and leadership.
“Coach Cox needs to remain an integral part of the train wreck that is now the men’s basketball program,” she said. “Do we continue to bleed the wound or do we learn from our mistakes and heal?”
The next step will be an independent probe, to figure out why Rice wasn’t fired immediately back in December. Rutgers is not saying who will handle that investigation.
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