On Rutgers’ Mike Rice: Kobe Bryant Would Have 'Smacked the Hell Outta' Him

Image: On Rutgers’ Mike Rice: Kobe Bryant Would Have 'Smacked the Hell Outta' Him Kobe Bryant, #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 08:52 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant had strong words for fired Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice and how he would have handled the player abuse scandal: "I would have smacked the hell out of him, no question about it."
"It probably wouldn't have been the best way to react to it," Bryant said in an interview with Jim Rome on Showtime Wednesday night, "but that's probably how I would have reacted."

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Bryant also spoke out on Twitter last week about the video from a November Rutgers basketball practice that showed Rice shoving, grabbing, throwing basketballs, and screaming gay slurs at his players.

But he wasn’t the only celebrity or athlete to denounce Mike Rice's abusive behavior. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on a Twitter rant about how inappropriate it was, and others also used social media to vent.

Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti fired Rice before resigning on Friday. An assistant basketball coach and the university's general counsel were also removed from their positions.

"My first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice's behavior was to fire him immediately," Pernetti wrote in his resignation letter to Rutgers President Robert Barchi. "However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved."

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Related stories:

Baseball Great Tony La Russa: Mike Rice Deserved to Be Fired

Rutgers Payout: Mike Rice, Tim Pernetti to Collect $1M Each After Departure

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