Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice Does Not Show “Respect For People”

Posted on April 3, 2013 | in Basketball, Respect For People, Sports | by

Three months after being suspended for “inappropriate behavior and language” ESPN’s Outside The Lines shared a video of Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice abusing his players with inappropriate names and slurs and physical contact and threats. Video from ESPN:

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has now come under fire in the media for not addressing the coach’s situation sooner and taking the presumed next step of terminating Rice’s employment:

The video is shocking and irredeemable. Rice is shown grabbing, shoving and kicking players. He is shown throwing basketballs at them. He directs a multitude of vulgar variations of “you’re a sissy” at them.

That’s not coaching. That’s bullying.

As addressed in a previous piece about MLB pensions possibly being eliminated, one of the two pillars of Lean and the Toyota Production System is “respect for people.” This doesn’t necessarily mean always being nice and kind when dealing with others, but rather finding ways to challenge those around you to perform at their peak potential and identify ways to solve problems collectively. Part of respecting others means helping find the truth and the appropriate reconciliation of identified problems, which isn’t always easy to do or handle.

There are multiple ways to help others perform at their best, and while not all of those methods are nice and kind it’s generally expected that appropriate results will follow methods that seem angry and mean to outsiders. In addition, not every method to get through to colleagues, direct reports, or supervisors will work the same – everyone is different.

Unfortunately Mike Rice isn’t delivering those results. Not only does he have a poor coaching record at Rutgers (44-51) but he has also driven many program insiders away, including player transfers. From former Rutgers director of player development Eric Murdock:

Some players were deeply affected by Rice’s treatment of them, Murdock said, adding that he watched it undermine their desire to play. “There were some players who couldn’t sleep at night, who wasn’t eating, who didn’t want to come to the gym,” he said, adding that he told Pernetti about that, too, in December.

A simple similarity can be drawn between Mike Rice and Bob Knight. However, as Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports states, “At least that bully won.” Beyond that, many players return to Indiana as big Bob Knight supporters and there is ample evidence that Knight’s players took the “student” in “student-athlete” seriously.

This isn’t to say that winning is an excuse for verbal and physical battery of players. College basketball coaches with potty mouths and short fuses who deliver results on the court and in the classroom have others see their actions as “getting through to the kids” but the fact remains that the coach is providing what is making the kids excel.

This can’t be said of Mike Rice. Poor coaching record, getting torched in the media, and players not developing that necessary trust and mutual respect with their coach means that Mike Rice is doing something wrong as a head college basketball coach.

Do you like this post? Give Lean Blitz a follow and a like!
Follow us on Twitter at @LeanBlitzsubscribe to the blog, and “like” us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice Does Not Show “Respect For People””

  1. It sounds like, per news reports, that Rutgers finally did the right thing by firing Rice. That said, shame on the athletic director for not taking action earlier. Seems like Rice got fired due to the embarrassment to Rutgers that resulted from the ESPN story, not the bad behavior itself. It’s said ethics is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. Sounds like the A.D. failed that test and I’d call for him to be fired too, while we’re at it.

    • Chad Walters says:

      I bet there are a lot of coaches and athletic directors who might find themselves in hot water if the camera was constantly turned on them in practices.

      I’ve heard a definition of integrity (or one’s true character or something like that) sometime down the line as what one does when no one is watching. I think this little video reveal from ESPN OTL can unfortunately shut as many doors with athletic departments as it opens, sad to say.

  2. Pingback: Respect For People | What Is Respect For People | Lean | Toyota |Lean Blitz Consulting

  3. Pingback: Donald Sterling | Respect For People | Sports | Clippers |Lean Blitz Consulting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Lean Blitz in your Inbox!

Subscribe to a daily digest of Lean Blitz posts by clicking here!