PORTLAND -- The firing of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, the son of the Blazers commentator of the same name, shocked a local coach who knew him well.
Rice was fired Wednesday after video of him abusing players and calling them out with gay slurs became public. The school previously had disciplined him for his conduct.
Eric Reveno, coach at the University of Portland, said he knows the junior Rice personally. He described Rice as a good guy, but said his behavior went way too far.
"It's pretty shocking. A single incident you are like, 'Wow, that’s a big mistake and not appropriate by any stretch,'" he told KGW. "And as a coach you watch it and you want to think the best. And then you see the next one, and the next one, and to be honest I’m not sure I watched the whole thing. I got the sense of it and I got what was going on, and it’s a lesson for a lot of us.”
Reveno said players should be treated with respect, and belittling and berating them does not work.
The senior Mike Rice said in a tweet "It's a difficult day, but I appreciate everyone's support and concern. I will not be discussing this further at this time. Thank you."
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts called it "an unfortunate situation for everyone involved."
Point guard Damian Lillard agreed, saying, "It's unfortunate. But that's none of my business, so hopefully it's over."
After requests from KGW, the Blazers organization officials offered no official comment.