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Statements From Rutgers, Christie On Rice's Firing

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Statement From Governor Chris Christie Regarding Rutgers University's Decision to Remove Coach Rice

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Drewniak

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Kevin Roberts

609-777-2600

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie released the following statement regarding today's decision by Rutgers University:

"This was a regrettable episode for the University, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice. It was the right and necessary action to take in light of the conduct displayed on the videotape.

"Parents entrust their sons to the Rutgers Athletic Department and the men's basketball program at an incredibly formative period of their lives. The way these young men were treated by the head coach was completely unacceptable and violates the trust those parents put in Rutgers University. All of the student-athletes entrusted to our care deserve much better.

"As we move on from this incident, I am very optimistic that Rutgers will select a new head coach who not only puts a winning team on the court, but will make everyone proud of the example he sets every day for the young men in his charge."

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STATEMENT BY RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ROBERT L. BARCHI

REGARDING MIKE RICE 

Rutgers University has a long and proud history as one of the nation's most diverse and welcoming academic institutions. Coach Rice's abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university's core values.

When video excerpts of basketball practices were reviewed last fall by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, he immediately notified me and sought the advice of internal and outside counsel. The university hired an independent investigator to look into this matter thoroughly. Based on the external investigator's findings and recommendations, Tim and I agreed that Coach Rice should be suspended, penalized $75,000 in fines and lost salary, ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and put on notice that his behavior would be closely monitored. Tim Pernetti also made it clear to Coach Rice that there would be zero tolerance for additional infractions. Tim kept me fully apprised and I supported his actions.

Yesterday, I personally reviewed the video evidence, which shows a chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior. I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University. Therefore, Tim Pernetti and I have jointly decided to terminate Mike Rice's employment at Rutgers.

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President Barchi statement

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