Per the AP, Rutgers has fired basketball coach Mike Rice after ESPN obtained a video that showed him verbally and physically abusing players, even throwing basketballs at their heads. Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti originally saw the footage in November and decided to suspend him for three games, TIME’s Sean Gregory reported.
As the video went viral Tuesday, numerous celebrities and high-profile New Jersey tweeters expressed shock and outrage. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) said he was “deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior,” according to spokesman Michael Drewniak. “It’s not the type of leadership we should be showing our young people.” Christie tweeted this morning that the decision to terminate Rice was “right and necessary”: “This was a regrettable episode for @RutgersU, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice.”
Sheila Oliver (D), speaker of the NJ state assembly, dubbed Rice’s behavior “unacceptable not only at our state university, but in all circumstances. It is offensive and unbecoming of our state…Meanwhile, the decision not to dismiss him last year needs a complete and thorough review.”
Here’s a glimpse at the rest of the buzz on Twitter:
Miami Heat forward LeBron James:
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry:
Real estate mogul Donald Trump:
Michael Hurley, CBSBoston.com sports producer:
Luke Russert, NBC News:
Despite Rice’s termination, the footage will haunt every Rutgers sports team, Sports Illustrated columnist Andy Staples wrote:
Every coach at the school will have to deal with this video as they try to recruit players for their programs. If I’m in New Jersey recruiting football players, I’m showing the recruits and their parents that ESPN video and saying that based on his choice to keep Rice, the Rutgers AD condones this sort of activity. Do you want your son or daughter playing for an athletic department where the man in charge thinks that’s OK?