Rutgers alum says coach should’ve been fired months ago

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sujal Shah of Westport wasn't proud to spend his 38th birthday watching his alma mater get beat up on national television. Shah is president of the Alumni Association of Rutgers University for the Kansas City area.

"Shocked, disappointed, embarrassed," are some of the adjectives he uses to describe the video of men's basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing his players.

The university fired Rice on Wednesday, a day after ESPN aired clips of practice sessions where Rice is seen shoving players, throwing basketballs at them and even berating them with homophobic slurs.

"Very disappointed in the leadership in the athletic program and a little disappointed in our President," said Shah.

Shaw points out that Rutgers' Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and University President Robert Barchi knew about the video in December after it was provided to them by a fired member of the coaching staff.

"There should've been no question, Mike Rice should've been fired on the spot," said Shaw. Instead the university suspended Coach Rice for there games, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to undergo anger-management counseling.

Shaw says the university should not have waited for the video to be leaked to ESPN to do the right thing.

"Kids are entrusted to these coaches by their parents, this is not how they should be coached."

Shaw played soccer for Rutgers and says he was never mistreated as a student athlete. He says the university leaders should've realized there was a problem when five basketball players transferred.

"And they weren't just five players, some of them were the best recruits we ever had."

Shaw says Rutgers University, which hasn't been to the Final Four since 1976, will now have to prove the welfare of players comes first, if it hopes to recruit decent players in the future.

Email: rob.low@wdaftv4.com | Twitter @FOX4RobLow

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