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Former Rutgers Basketball Player: ‘When Mike Rice Threw a Basketball at Me, I Threw It Right Back at Him, That Was Our Relationship’

Tyree Graham doesn’t agree with the decision to fire Mike Rice (Photo by: Getty Images)

Former Rutgers and UNC-W guard Tyree Graham knows firsthand about the coaching tactics of a now unemployed Mike Rice.

Rice was officially fired today after a video surfaced of him firing basketballs, pushing and kicking his players in practice during a 3-year time period.

Graham called in to “The Sportsbash” and talked with Mike Gill about his relationship with Rice during his time at Rutgers.

Graham was often injured during his two years at Rutgers, but attended every practice and was considered like a ‘coach’ to some players under Rice.

‘When Rice would throw basketballs or curse at me, I would do it right back to him,” Graham said.

Rice was suspended for three games without pay and fined $50,000 for ‘violations of athletic department policy’ in December, but video did not surface until this week.

Graham has come to defense of his former coach to Outside The Lines, whose reporters broke the story with the recorded video being released to the public this week.

Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti has also come under media scrutiny for not firing Rice when he first learned of the video during the season and waiting until now to save face.

Rice was hired in 2010 by Pernetti and coached his Scarlet Knight team to a 15-16 record going 5-13 in the Big East this season.

Rice is 44-51 with the Rutgers program.

Tyree Graham Interview:




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