RMU’s investigation of Rice provides negative results

Nick Buzzelli, Sports Editor

For nearly three seasons, Mike Rice was a staple of Robert Morris men’s basketball, and during that time, there were no reported incidents that the abusive behavior Rice committed at Rutgers ever occurred at RMU, the athletic department said.

An investigation spearheaded by athletic director Craig Coleman found that there were no “coaches-versus-player brawls” during Rice’s tenure in Moon Township, opposite the allegations of Eric Murdock, former Rutgers Director of Player Development.

Coleman and his staff interviewed 17 current and former players as well as assistants who coached under Rice to determine whether Rice was involved in physical altercations or abuse with players, and if he made homophobic remarks toward them.

The findings contradicted Murdock’s claim.

One former player however, claimed that Rice shoved a fellow teammate during halftime on one occasion, but the other individual involved did not recall the experience.

“We conducted our investigation because accusations were made and questions raised about the way our players were treated under Coach Rice,” Coleman said in a statement. “This may be as close as we get to the truth of what was experienced here five years ago. Despite a vast majority of evidence refuting these suspicions, we feel duty-bound to report fully on what we have learned.”

Coleman said that Robert Morris will not allow insolent attitudes by its coaches or players in the future.

“We are distressed to hear about even one account of inappropriate behavior towards any of our players. Whether corroborated or not, we must use this opportunity to reaffirm that RMU does not – and will not – tolerate abusive behavior,” he added. “We will continue to do all that is possible to ensure that players and coaches act and are treated with mutual respect going forward.”