Rutgers video: Valley coaches disturbed
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rutgers University has fired head basketball coach Mike Rice after video surfaced showing him verbally abusing his players and throwing basketballs at them during practice. Valley coaches found the practice video very disturbing.
Jack Fertig once served as head of basketball operations at Fresno State. He couldn't believe Rutgers didn't fire Coach Rice back in December instead of suspending him when the video first surfaced.
Fertig explained, "I coached for 35 years. 5 in high school and 30 in college at nine different colleges and I've never seen anything like that."
Fertig grew up a mile from the Rutgers campus so the incident hit home. He was shocked by Rice's behavior.
"This was just somebody bullying some kids and I don't even what the purpose was for," said Fertig. "It wasn't a good learning environment."
Former Bulldog Larry Abney now runs a local AAU program called Chaos Basketball Academy. Abney has played for tough coaches who challenged him mentally but he said he was sickened by the Rutgers video.
"It's child abuse," explained Abney. "You wouldn't allow a parent to do that to a child, why allow a coach to do it?"
Abney was surprised but said he understood why the behavior may have gone on for so long.
"It's difficult because as a kid you want to be part of a program," said Abney. "You don't want to be the guy to bring the program down."
Abney added parents need to be closely involved in whatever sports their kids play.
"I think it's important for parents to have an open communication with their child," said Abney. "It's not like you hand off your children and that's the end."
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