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Video of ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice caused local coaches to grimace

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 4:19 am

The fallout over video of former Rutgers University men's basketball coach Mike Rice's behavior in practice continues as athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned his position on Friday.

Local high school basketball coaches understand why the video of Rice throwing basketballs, pushing players and using harsh language and slurs has caused such a widespread reaction and continues to ripple through the university.

“If it's my kid, I'm upset,” Norwell boys basketball coach Randy Hawkins said. “The kids are trying to work hard and learn. I don't know how those kids can play hard for him.”

Hawkins said there's a time and manner in which to handle frustration or anger with players while coaching and Rice obviously crossed a line.

“You challenge kids and try to not go overboard,” Hawkins said. “I try to build relationships so they will play harder for you.”

Pernetti attempted to handle the situation by giving Rice a three-game suspension and a requirement to attend anger management.

But when the video was released to the media in the last week, it triggered a call for Rice to be fired, as well as Pernetti. Rutgers fired Rice and Pernetti resigned as a result of what was deemed by many to be too light a punishment for Rice's behavior.

In his resignation letter, Pernetti said his position was to fire Rice at the time but he didn't have the approval of school officials.

Canterbury girls coach Wayne Kreiger, who won his first state title as a coach this winter, called the video shocking.

“There are a lot of different ways to reach out to players,” Kreiger said.

North Side boys coach Shabaz Khaliq used the word “disturbing.”

Khaliq calls himself a “fiery” coach and believes his approach demonstrates to his players the type of passion he wants them to use.

“You have to know each player's personality and background,” Khaliq said. “The fun part is I get to know my players and they are honest with us.”