Rutgers Knew All About Coach Rice's Abusive Tactics

An internal report chronicled complaints by players
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
In this March 12, 2013, file photo, Rutgers coach Mike Rice yells out to his team during an NCAA college basketball game against DePaul at the Big East tournament in New York.    (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

(Newser) – Rutgers officials knew about Mike Rice's bad behavior well before seeing it on video last year—but may have kept quiet so as not to tarnish the university's image, the New York Times reports. The school even commissioned a report by outside lawyers that chronicled complaints by Rutgers basketball players against former coach Rice, and the school's attempts to curb his tactics—including a $50,000 fine. But the report went fairly easy on Rice, saying he did "cross the line" at times but never harassed or intimidated players.

More importantly, the report said Rice's behavior did "not constitute a hostile work environment"; the opposite finding could have led to lawsuits from players. The report also came at a sensitive time, when Rutgers was trying to join the Big Ten Conference and merge university and state medical schools—ambitions that might have been shelved during a scandal. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating Eric Murdock, the former assistant who revealed the video footage, over his alleged attempt to extort $950,000 from the school to "resolve his claims." (Read more Mike Rice stories.)

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