Former Rutgers coach Mike Rice moves on to girls AAU basketball

USA TODAY Sports

After being fired with cause as head coach of the Rutgers men's basketball team, Mike Rice is now coaching seventh grade girls basketball.

Nearly a quarter century of officiating, 24 years to be exact, has seen several thousand games.

Over those years and contests, yours truly has shared the court with a number of notable officiating partners.

There's Denise Brooks (at officiating camp), who worked the NCAA final and is one of the best on the college and WNBA circuit.

The wife of a Super Bowl hero, Sharon Manning Beverly was a former coach at FDU and we worked together for two games in her team camp. Her husband was New York Jet Randy Beverly who intercepted two passes in Super Bowl III. Mention Beverly's name to any long time diehard Jet fan and you will get a smile.

Jerry Salvato, one of the officials on the first ever Big East men's game (Boston College at Seton Hall December of '79) also worked with me at a team camp. In recent seasons partners have included Brian Dorsey and Brian O'Connell, two outstanding men's DI officials, and Cecil King of NY Gazelles fame. I realize that someone or two along the line have been left out but not intentionally.

Another partner of note recently get mention due to his frequent news appearance. That is former Rutgers coach Mike Rice. A little over a year ago, I wrote a story at SB Nation's Rutgers site On the Banks chronicling our officiating partnership at the Eastern Camp.

In retrospect, it can be said the events revealed the past few weeks have been shocking and disturbing. I first saw the Rice practice video on ESPN in the press room before the NIT semis at the Garden - "shocking" and "sad" sum the video up. Suffice to say, after seeing it entirely the first time, I could not view it entirely again.

Rice was always intense on the sidelines and in practice. But to hit, kick and throw basketballs at your players is well over the edge. These are student/athletes entrusted to you as playing basketball is an extension of the education process. And we have not even dealt with the verbal slurs.

After that, I thought that Rice would never draw up a play in a huddle again. Now, the NY Post reports is he is coaching his daughter's seventh grade AAU team. Maybe Mike Rice has truly learned and is remorseful, planning to completely change from his former ways. Maybe. Still, I would find it very difficult at this point to send my daughter (if I had one) to be a member of his program.

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