April 7, 2013

March Madness


You can watch the video. Or you can see better pictures of the abusive now-former coach of Rutgers, Mike Rice. I like this one, though, for the perspective.

First, looking at Rice imploding on the sidelines (the players, and the woman in the third row seemingly attentive to it), it’s hard to believe people weren’t aware Rice had an anger problem. (Of course, the obliviousness and denial are also on display.) Second, where does seething have a role in the development of young men?

I feel for the kids who had to play for Rice. The guy on the left looks like his coping mechanism is to just tune out. The kid in the center looks stressed, worried and disappointed perhaps. (Gilvydas Biruta, by the way, who Rice called the “Lithuanium faggot,” transferred from Rutgers before past season.) Of course, the two players might have been looking down the court at just about anything. Still, it’s hard to believe they didn’t know exactly when the lava was flowing — especially if it was heading for their own front door.

So, in the spirit of those programs morally and often financially leveraging the institution to enable the athletic program, let’s enjoy the NCAA men’s title game tonight.

(photo: Bill Kostroun/Files/Reuters caption: Rutgers players Kadeem Jack (L) and Gilvydas Biruta look on as Rutgers coach Mike Rice paces during the second half of their NCAA men’s basketball game against Syracuse in Piscataway, New Jersey in this file photo taken February 19, 2012. Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was suspended for three games and fined last December when hours of video showed him verbally and physically abusing his players, ESPN reported Tuesday.)

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Michael Shaw
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