Mike Rice: Good coach or abusive tyrant?

Most people have seen the video of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice at practice, shoving players, throwing basketballs at them and yelling gay slurs at them. There was public outcry when it was announced that he was fined and suspended. Most people felt he should have been fired and soon he was. I said most people because some people feel he was just being a good coach, that he was fired because Americans are getting soft. The man who said that went on to say that if Americans say video of boot camp they would be bawling their eyes out. Some others were saying they had coaches that treated them the same way.

These young men didn’t sign up for boot camp, unless Rutgers is in the business of teaching its students how to kill with their bare hands this is not a valid comparison. And just because something has been done to you doesn’t make it right or acceptable. There is no way you can convince me that his behavior is acceptable. Besides the risk that the student could be injured it sends them a message that brutal treatment, demeaning others is acceptable behavior.

We teach our children to treat people fairly, to not pick on people that are different and then they go to college and get abused, not by another student but by their coach, a person in authority that they are powerless to do anything about. What would happen to a student that treated another student like this? Grabbing, throwing things at their head, and calling them names?

As for the statement that this kind of treatment will “make them men”, what kind of men will it make them? There are already too many men out there who think it is O.K. to mistreat people that are weaker than them, that are different than them, do we want to keep on giving young men that idea? That it’s acceptable to hurt someone, even someone who is defenseless if you can get away with it? I believe we can raise boys to be men without brutalizing them. We need to teach young people respect and tolerance, not that if you can’t get what you want you should bully someone to get it.