Rutgers has fired their basketball coach, Mike Rice, after video surfaced of him berating his players, throwing basketballs at them, shoving them, and using “homophobic slurs”. This is the outrage of the day — that nobody will remember or care about 16 hours from now — so get your helping of indignant anger while it’s still fresh.
Alright, I have a few reactions to this story:
1) Can the NCAA make it, like, a week without some sort of scandal? I don’t think everyone fully realizes that the NCAA is easily one of the most corrupt organizations in the country. In fact, there’s so much exploitation, profiteering, manipulation and abuse going on in college athletics that it’s starting to look like college academics. Just kidding. It could never be that bad.
2) I saw some of the videos. This guy is a jerk and a bit of a nut. I don’t blame the university for firing him, although they wouldn’t have if they weren’t forced into it by the national media attention. That said, maybe I’ve just had some really terrible coaches, but it didn’t seem much worse than what I experienced myself in high school sports. Coaches shouldn’t shove or verbally abuse players, but why are we acting like this dude is the first one to ever conceive of the strategy? I’ve been punched, pushed, punished, intimidated and belittled by many a coach. And that was just in track and field. I didn’t cry about it (publicly). I just carried on with my life. But I’m happy to now find out that I’m a victim, as that is, of course, the new American dream.
3) Wait. Wait. You’re telling me someone involved in sports used “homophobic” terms?! What?! I am shocked and astounded, I tell you, shocked and astounded! Next you’re going to tell me that drill instructors sometimes raise their voices. What? They do? What is happening in the world? I thought coaches and players in locker rooms and practice fields all speak like they do in inspirational Disney sports films! Let’s make sure to enforce a politically correct standard of vocabulary on these testosterone raging physical competitors! That’s something that should be a priority in our society, no question about it.
4) Back to the NCAA being a corrupt and exploitative organization. Yeah. About that. Administrators, executives, coaches and personnel all make millions on the backs of these players, while exploiting their talents for everything from video game licensing deals, to TV contracts, to merchandise, to ticket sales, and we only consider it “abuse” when one of these millionaires chucks a basketball at their grill? It’s a little hard for me to take that seriously.
Once again we have another situation that everyone cares about but nobody really cares about.