What's next for Rice, Murdock, Pernetti, and Barchi
4/6/2013 8:28:00 AM
Wow what a week on "the banks of the ol' Rar-i-tan"! On Tuesday, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" airs the contoversial video of then-Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice verbally abusing, man-handling, and ball-assaulting players at practice, Eric Murdock is sharing his story with the sports world, then-AD Tim Pernetti is defending his decision to only suspend and fine Rice for his actions, Rice is bounced out the next day by Pernetti, lawmakers, RU students, and faculty call for Pernetti's ouster, and on Friday, RU President Robert Barchi announces that Tim Pernetti has resigned. Whew! Did I get everything? I think so. With this whirlwind week behind us, what does the future hold for these 4 men? Let's look at each one individually.
RICE: A good a gracious guy whenever I spoke with him, and his involvement with Coaches v. Cancer should be admired, but what basketball program, at ANY level, would possibly want to have him as their coach? Would he treat a women's team in the same fashion? Once you get a reputation as a physically and verbally abusive coach, the opportunites dry up. Quickly. Look for Mike Rice to land either completely out of organized sports, or in a very, VERY low-level coaching capacity somewhere far away from New Jersey.
MURDOCK: I had just 1 encounter with Eric, and thought he was a terrific guy. His fate is now in the hands of courts, as his wrongful-termination lawsuit against RU moves forward. He made the necessary noise about those whom he felt were responsible for his ouster, and got the results we assume he wanted. Time will tell when it comes to the size of the check he gets, and when he gets it.
PERNETTI: Of the 4 primary players here, Tim was the one whom I had the best relationship with. Always a phone call or an e-mail away anytime I needed something. Tim's strengths lie in other fields, and I think of the 3 main players here, he has the best chance of rebounding. (After all, it's a basketball story). Tremendous media savvy as a former TV executive, and as a longtime friend of former RU football coach Greg Schiano, there may already be an office in Tampa with his name on the door. As they say on TV, "stay tuned".
BARCHI: As "the new guy", look for the new Prez to keep a close eye on every single athletic aspect of the program, from how coaches and players communicate, to the type and width of tape the trainers are ordering. The scrutinty has never been higher, and Trenton's involvement has never been so...involved. If a coach so much as sneezes in the general direction of a player, he'll have to investigate as to why a tissue was not present, or what prevented the turning of the head. A bit much, I know, but this is new territory for everyone.
Is it football season yet?
Bert Baron is the host of New Jersey TODAY, heard weekdays between 1 and 3 PM on 1450 WCTC and WCTCAM.com.