Fired Rutgers coach to receive $100K bonus

Fired Rutgers coach to receive $100K bonus

Fired Rutgers coach to receive $100K bonus

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by Kevin Dolak

ABC NEWS

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- Fired Rutgers coach Mike Rice is due a $100,000 bonus from the university for the 2012-2013 basketball season, a payout he would not have received had he been sacked when the tapes of his tormenting his players came to light in November.

The New Jersey school fired Rice, 44, Wednesday amid a quickly unfolding scandal that began when ESPN's "Outside the Lines" aired footage of the coach's pushing players in the chest, grabbing them by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice could be heard screaming obscenities and gay slurs at players, including "f--king f-ggot" and "fairy."

Rice earned $622,500 in 2012 and, as part of his deal, receives bonuses for winning games and graduating players. The $100,000 bonus results simply from his completing last season, as stipulated in his five-year contract, The Associated Press reported.

The school will pay the bonus because it's contractually obligated to do so, Athletic Department spokesman Jason Baum told the AP.

It's unclear whether the university is also obligated to pay for the remaining two years of his contract. He has not had a winning season in his three years at Rutgers.

The sudden firing of Rice has also led to calls from faculty, lawmakers and activists for further investigation into the school, and possibly more firings of the school's top brass.

A group of 13 members of the university's staff have called for the ouster of the school president, Robert Barchi, this morning, according to ESPN. In a statement released Wednesday, Barchi said he was informed of the video showing Rice's actions in November, but did not personally view the footage until Tuesday, the same day it aired on ESPN. Barchi announced Rice's firing Wednesday.

In a letter sent to Rutgers' Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees, the group of faculty members state that they are "demanding the immediate resignation of our President Robert Barchi, in light of his inexcusable handling of Coach Mike Rice's homophobic and misogynist abuse of our students."

ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas told ABC News that school Athletic Director Tim Pernetti's original decision to suspend the coach and Barchi's support of the decision leave them with further questions to answer.

"I can't think of an argument that would be compelling enough to justify a suspension and a fine when, ultimately, a dismissal was decided upon," Bilas said. "I don't think this is over for Tim Pernetti. I think the vast majority of administrators would have fired Mike Rice on the spot."

Pernetti was shown hours of video in late November by a former employee. He suspended Rice for three games a month later, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger-management classes. At the time, Pernetti didn't elaborate on the details of the suspension.

A call for a full investigation into harassment at the school has also come from State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. Speaking on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio Wednesday, Oliver called for legislative hearings into Rice's firing, and that she will be "empowering one of [her] Assembly committees" to look into the university's handling of the situation.

"[Firing Rice] was the right thing to do," Oliver said, "but it should have happened in November when these tapes first emerged."

A representative for Oliver told ABCNews.com that there are "no definitive" details on such committees. Gay rights organization Garden State Equality is also calling for a full investigation into Rutgers' administrators, saying that they knew about this video and the anti-gay harassment for months and did nothing.

"Homophobia, harassment, intimidation and bullying have no place at Rutgers or in our society today," the group said. "And that changing a culture of bias and hate must begin with leadership at the top."

Rice apologized Wednesday to the players, the Rutgers administration, fans and his family.

"There's no explanation for what's on that film," he said. "There's no excuse for it. I was wrong. And I want to tell everybody who's believed in me that I'm deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I've caused."

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