Rutgers basketball coach caught on tape abusing players

A still from the video that surfaced showing Rutgers head coach Mike Rice apparently abusing his players. NNS

(CBS News) In December, Rutgers University mysteriously suspended its men's basketball coach without pay.

Now we know why.

A video has surfaced showing head coach Mike Rice being verbally and physically abusive to his players, and some are now asking why he hasn't been fired.

The video shows Rice manhandling members of the Rutgers basketball team, throwing balls at players, and shouting gay slurs. Andy Staples, senior writer of Sports Illustrated, said of that kind of conduct, "You don't do that. You cannot do that. That may have been OK in 1950. It is not OK in 2013."

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti first saw the video back in November, when Eric Murdoch, a former college basketball standout and the team's director of player development at the time, showed it to him.

In December, Rice was suspended for three games and fined $50,000. Pernetti said in a radio interview, "All that behavior was unacceptable and whether you do it once or a hundred times, one time is too many. He knew exactly what he screwed up and what he did wrong."

After ESPN aired the video on Tuesday, criticism followed quickly. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he was "deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed."

And Lebron James tweeted:

But Pernetti, who oversees the Athletic Department, is also being criticized.

"The fact that he didn't see the video and 10 seconds later say, 'This is gonna be a PR disaster, I gotta get rid of this guy,' calls into question his common sense," Staples said.

Now that the video is out, Pernetti suggested in that radio interview that Rice could still be fired: "There's a lot of things on my mind right now that I'm thinking through and making sure that whatever decisions I make on a going-forward basis, that we try to make the right ones.

CBS Sports' James Brown said on "CBS This Morning" that Rutgers knows it now has a big public relations problem on its hands. When officials learned that ESPN was going to air the video, they showed it on Tuesday to a select group of reporters in an effort to get ahead of the story.

Watch James Brown's report in the video above.

"In my mind it goes beyond a PR nightmare -- it goes to the core of whether or not it's the kind of leadership the university would condone in one of its most public faces," Brown said.

So how does the coach keep his job? Brown said, "That's a fair question to ask. Look, a coach is supposed to be a leader, displaying the kind of attitude and leadership qualities that are encouraging, edifying, and strengthening to young men. Common sense would tell you, this crosses the line. You wouldn't sign your son up to be under this kind of coach at all. We've all been there where coaches can get fiery, they can get animated with you, but putting your hands on a player and homophobic slurs, you don't treat animals that way."

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