NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers University is reviewing practice videos of all sports to see if any coach engaged in behavior like the type that cost men’s basketball coach Mike Rice his job.
University President Robert Barchi announced the review Monday during a town hall meeting on the school’s Newark campus.
Barchi said he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be immediately reported. He also said he will not tolerate that sort of behavior.
The scandal spun out of control when the video went public last week showing Rice screaming obscenities and gay slurs at his players and punching, kicking and throwing basketballs at them.
At the town hall, Barchi reiterated that he wished he had viewed the video where Rice was seen physically and verbally abusing his players when it first surfaced in November. Barchi said he would have fired Rice then.
“Horrible words were used, and I don’t know why that has to be used in an athletic arena,” one woman said at the town hall.
“Let’s focus on what we’re doing going forward and about how strongly I feel about this,” Barchi responded.
Pernetti has claimed he wanted to fire Rice but was overruled. Barchi denied he overruled any recommendation to fire the coach.
But Rutgers has released a report that was on Pernetti’s desk. As CBS 2’s Aiello reported, an outside lawyer found “certain actions of Coach Rice did cross the line of permissible conduct – and Pernetti could reasonably determine that Coach Rice’s actions tended to embarrass and bring shame or disgrace to Rutgers,” in violation of his contract.
“I’m not covering up for anybody,” Barchi said Monday.
There were a few outbursts from the packed house at the town hall.
“College athletics has been a money pit for this university,” one opponent of the school’s handling of the situation said.
Some professors also spoke out against the focus given to athletics, Silverman reported.
“Do not waste our money on sports,” one man said to cheers.
“In order for you to take a moral step and lead by example, why don’t you pay the next basketball coach half of what you pay now,” Rutgers assistant professor Rich Gomes said at the town hall.
Some town hall attendees vented their anger that former coach Rice and former athletic director Pernetti will each collect more than $1 million in severance, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Barchi did not address that point directly, though he noted that he had no input on the payouts.. But when asked about any plans to step down, Barchi said he intends to stay where he is.
“I serve at the pleasure of the board,” Barchi said.
About 25 minutes into Barchi’s presentation Monday, a professor came to the microphone and interrupted him, saying people needed to be heard.
Former assistant coach Eric Murdock compiled hours of video and showed it to university brass last year. Instead of firing Rice, the university suspended him for three games and slapped him with a fine.
Murdock’s contract was terminated. In a lawsuit, he claims wrongful termination.