It is not an uncommon site to see Rutgers Scarlet Knights men's basketball head coach Mike Rice to show his intensity by stomping up-and-down the sidelines and yelling at players and referees during games. (That is just what he does.)
However, that site will not be seen during Rutgers next three games as the third-year headman was suspended and fined $50,000 Thursday for inappropriate behavior and language that was discovered after an internal investigation.
The Star Ledger later found out Rice had thrown basketballs at some players during a practice that took place his first or second season.
Associate head coach David Cox will serve as the team's head coach during the team's upcoming three-game home stand that begins Sunday against the UAB Blazers (noon). Cox will also coach against Howard (Dec. 21) and Rider (Dec. 28).
Rice is not be allowed to be around the team, make recruiting trips or visits or have any contact with his players while he is suspended. The 43-year old Rice, who earns $300,000 in base salary in addition to $350,000 in guaranteed compensation in the third year of a five-year contract, will lose $24,905 in salary. Coupled with the $50,000 fine, the total loss of $74,905 for the 20-day suspension is roughly 25 percent of his base salary for this season.
On Thursday, Rice issued an apology in a press release:
"I sincerely apologize to our players, both past and present; to our incredible assistant coaches and staff; to President Barchi, the Board of Governors and Director of Athletics Tim Pernetti for their belief in me; to the University faculty, staff and student body who represent the greatness of RU and to our Scarlet Knight fans who provide so much support to our teams," Rice continued. "My commitment to becoming a better man and coach is only matched by my passion to make Rutgers basketball a great source of pride for the community."
Meanwhile, Rutgers players are standing behind their head coach.
Overall, Rice has helped the Scarlet Knights compile a 36-37 overall record. Rutgers, though, has never made the NIT or NCAA Tournament under Rice's short tenure.