Mike Rice’s ouster/resignation at Rutgers last week was well-deserved, and quite frankly, why wasn’t he fired instead of suspended earlier in the year? I was also glad to see the athletic director who suspended him, but didn’t fire him back in November, resign.
Rice’s violent actions toward his players, broadcast recently on ESPN, never should have been tolerated. A former assistant coach at the school went to the administration regarding Rice, and he was later fired. Wow, does this remind anybody of Penn State? Rice used racial/gay slurs, which have no business in athletics, let alone everyday life. That alone should have cost Rice his job immediately.
Physical confrontations toward a coach shouldn’t be tolerated at the college level, nor should a coach physically going after a player be tolerated. The video clearly shows Rice throwing a basketball at several players. Maybe one of those guys should have thrown the ball at him. It’s surprising that, according to the school, no players ever went to the administration to complain about Rice before he left his job. I assume the players were afraid they would lose their scholarships. However, if a couple of guys had stepped forward earlier, Rice would have been let go earlier. The school, first and foremost, must protect its students at all times.
Stuff like this leads me to believe schools aren’t doing their homework on their employees. A coach doesn’t all of a sudden have a temper and become abusive. Those traits had to be there before.
Having covered high school athletics since I was 19 years old, I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve seen football coaches grab a player’s face mask on the sidelines in anger. I’ve seen coaches belittle players during a game in front of fans. The former should be grounds for discipline by the administration. The latter? It probably shouldn’t be acceptable, but I’m sure it happens all over the country.
I remember in my younger years I was covering a JC basketball tournament in Santa Rosa. I was covering a game between Los Medanos College and City College of San Francisco. Dean Garrett, the only junior college player Bobby Knight ever recruited while at Indiana, had just been whistled for his third foul with about 10 minutes left in the half. Garrett started walking off the floor, expecting to sit down the rest of the half.
His coach, Brad Duggan, started screaming at him, and what he said wasn’t pretty. It referred to Garrett’s ethnicity — he is black — and was profane. In fact, I doubt whether it would have been tolerated in today’s world.
You could have heard a pin drop in the gym because there were only about 50 fans there.
I applaud the 49ers’ recent additions of defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha and quarterback Colt McCoy.
Asomugha was one of the best cover corners in the NFL when he was with the Raiders. Reports say that he didn’t play well in Philadelphia, but I still think he will be a valuable asset. He’s coming to the 49ers on the cheap — $1.35 million with some incentives and no guaranteed money. Asomugha played at Cal and then went to the Raiders. Maybe being back home will help. According to reports out of Philly, he is a good guy in the locker room, and that’s very important to coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. Even if he’s used only in nickel and dime coverage situations, I think his experience will be invaluable.
One thing is certain, you won’t see McCoy running any read option. However, he has shown that he can win games in the NFL, and that’s all you want your backup QB to do. If Colin Kaepernick were to go down with an injury, I could see Harbaugh dumbing down the playbook a tad because McCoy doesn’t have the athleticism or arm strength Kaepernick has.
And while we’re talking about the NFL, I think the Raiders were smart to get rid of Carson Palmer, who certainly isn’t worth $13 million, which is what his cap number was this year. Getting Matt Flynn is still a risk because except for a couple of games in Green Bay, he really hasn’t established himself. Maybe he will come into his own with Oakland. He is younger than Palmer, and that’s a good thing. The Raiders have the third overall pick in this year’s draft, and it will be interesting to see if they take a chance at another quarterback or go offensive line or defensive line. The team has cut a lot of payroll, including punter Shane Lechler. The Raiders are still a couple of years away from being a playoff contender.