A group of professors are demanding the immediate resignation of Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, charging he “covered up’’ the scandal surrounding men’s basketball coach Mike Rice who was fired this week for his physical and verbal abuse of players.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that in a letter sent to the Rutgers Board of Governors, 13 teachers accused Barchi of firing Rice only after media attention “forced him to do so.’’
A video that aired on ESPN this week showed Rice hurling basketballs at players’ heads, hitting them, cursing at them, and using gay slurs during practice.
"Although President Barchi is now suggesting otherwise, he has known about Coach Rice's homophobic, misogynist, and abusive behavior for several months now," the letter said.
"Not only did he not fire Coach Rice, he in essence covered up the Coach's actions by failing to tell faculty and students about them."
The letter charged that Barchi showed a pattern of "insensitivity and arrogance" toward diversity.
Rutgers has been under scrutiny since the death three years ago of gay student Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after a fellow student used a camera to spy on him kissing another man.
Rice, for his part, has issued an apology for his behavior, saying: “I’ve let so many people down . . . There’s no explanation for what’s on those films. Because there is no excuse for it. I was wrong.’’
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