SARASOTA - From Rutgers to Riverview High School in Sarasota, it seems everyone in the country is talking about Mike Rice and the video that got him fired Wednesday as head coach of the Rutgers basketball team.
The video shows Rice hitting, kicking and throwing balls directly at players, and screaming obscenities, including gay slurs. Less than 24 hours after ESPN released the video, Rutgers University fired Rice.
We spoke with players and coaches with Riverview's varsity basketball team Wednesday, asking them to weigh in.
In the offseason, there's not much Riverview High School basketball coach B.J. Ivey can do, except facilitate a fun pick-up game between some of his players. At times, he will even play along. “As a head coach, you want to foster an environment that is positive, where kids feel they can trust you and you can have a personal relationship with them that is beneficial for them down the line.”
Quite the contrast to former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who is seen in practice videos throwing balls at players, kicking them, and at times using foul language.
“I was disgusted. The first thing that came to my mind is that there are actually people out there working with young men treating them that way in an environment with these behaviors taking place.”
An environment that Ivey's players would never want to be a part of. “It would definitely put me down if a coach wouldn't believe in us and treat us like that. It would pose a negative impact upon us,” says varsity player Nick Havener.
“I feel like it's horrible. He should not be doing that. At lease he is fired. They can get a better coach now,” says varsity player Travis Mays.
One that can teach his players how to win -- without the physical abuse; perhaps someone like Coach Ivey.
This season the Rutgers basketball team had just 15 wins, with an abysmal record in the Big East, going just 5-13.