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Rutgers basketball coach fired

Mike Rice

Mike Rice Credit: Mike Rice (Getty Images)

Updated 6:36 p.m., April 3, 2013: Rutgers University fired men’s basketball coach Mike Rice Wednesday after ESPN broadcast a video showing him shoving players, hurling balls at their heads and shouting homophobic slurs.

The video stirred outrage among players, fans and officials, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the dismissal “the right and necessary action to take.”

The video went viral almost four months after Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti suspended Rice for three games.

Rice, 44, apologized in an interview with WABC-TV outside his home.

“There’s no explanation for what’s on that film,” he said. “There’s no excuse for it. I was wrong. And I want to tell everybody who’s believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I’ve caused.”

The firing marked a reversal for Rutgers, which had retained Rice as coach after the suspension and had ordered him to undergo anger-management therapy.

“Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability,” said Rutgers president Robert Barchi.

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