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Mike Rice Coaching Seventh-Grade Girls In N.J.; Parents Come To Defense

Mike Rice (credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Mike Rice (credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — What has Mike Rice been up to since his firing from Rutgers?

Well, he’s coaching a girl’s youth basketball team in the Garden State. N.J. Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball district sports director Joanne Cobb confirmed Rice’s role to CBS 2.

Hoopscritic.com founder Brian Geltzeiler tweeted Sunday that Rice was “actually coaching a 7th grade girls AAU team today and he’s still acting like a mad man.” Deadspin picked up the story and piled on: “And not only is Mike Rice coaching, to hear Geltzeiler, but he’s still acting (expletive) insane.”

Rice was fired earlier this month after a video of the coach verbally and physically abusing his players – throwing basketballs and hurling gay slurs at them – became public.

His seventh-grade daughter is on the team, and parents are “enraged” by the characterization of Rice by Geltzeiler and Deadspin, SportsNet New York reported.

“The Deadspin report is a gross misrepresentation of the facts,” an AAU team source told SNY. “The team’s parents are fully behind Coach Rice and his instruction of their daughters.”

One of the parents, Traci Moore, told the New York Post, “Every kid on this team loves and adores Mike.”

“Mike is doing this because this is what he does. This is what he loves,” she told the paper.

A coach at the AAU tournament disputed the notion that Rice was out of control.

“As far as him acting improper in any way, that’s not true,” the coach told the Post.

Should Rice be anywhere near a youth team? Sound off in the comments…