ESPN today published a video of Rutgers head coach Mike Rice shoving and grabbing players at practice, whipping basketballs at them from close range, and calling them “faggots” and “pussies,” among other things. Part of the video — 30 minutes’ worth — had already come to the attention of Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti, who viewed it last year and subsequently punished Rice. That punishment? A whopping three-game suspension (plus a fine).
For comparison’s sake, here are some other things that can get one suspended for three games in the world of college basketball. And yes, we know these aren’t apples to apples comparisons: These are players who were suspended by the NCAA and not coaches suspended by their schools. But they say something about the value of a three-game suspension in the NCAA, which is that three games is basically nothing.
• Akron juniors Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell were suspended three games by the NCAA last year because of a clerical error by the school’s compliance department. Through no fault of their own, they didn’t receive final amateur certification clearance, but even though it was just a paperwork issue, Akron’s appeal was denied.
• San Diego State freshman Winston Shepard was suspended three games by the NCAA because he purchased a car with a loan co-signed by a family he met at his alma mater, Findlay Prep in Nevada. Upon realizing he may have violated the rules, he returned the car and reported himself to the NCAA, leading to the suspension.
• New Mexico guard Jamal Fenton was suspended three games for a “minor violation” of NCAA rules last year: He accepted a $250 discount on renting a hotel ballroom for his 21st birthday party, paying $500 instead of $750. (Oh, and he says didn’t even know he was getting a discount.)
• Memphis junior Geron Johnson was suspended three games by the NCAA as “the result of extra benefits received by Johnson from a family friend who assisted the family with his educational expenses prior to his enrollment at the University of Memphis,” according to a university release. (Emphasis ours.)
And that doesn’t even cover such crimes as getting discounts on clothing at a department store or accepting a ticket to a baseball game from someone other than one’s parent or guardian. All of which, again, are worth the same number of games as shoving and grabbing players at practice, whipping basketballs at them from close range, and calling them “faggots” and “pussies,” among other things. Way to go, Rutgers.