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Video lessons have yet to be learned

April 4, 2013 - Art Smith
The stupidity of smart people never ceases to amaze me.

Mike Rice, the Rutgers University basketball coach, lost his job Wednesday after video of him losing his temper with his team was shown on ESPN.

The video quickly gained traction in other media outlets and the coach was fired shortly after Robert Barchi, the president of the college, viewed the video.

The video shows the coach pushing the players, throwing basketballs at them and using homophobic slurs directed to them.

It’s shocking that someone would act that way knowing that a video was being shot. The video camera appears to be tripod mounted and the video even pans to follow him around the court.

The college athletic director viewed the video months ago and imposed a $50,000 fine and a three-game suspension on Rice. But you have to ask, did he really think the video would not get out, that others might view it and have a vastly different opinion about what to do with the out-of-control coach? Rutgers hired lawyers they viewed the tapes, and they read the contracts and advised them that the coach could not be fired.


To me it sounds like a room full of really smart people made a really bad call — and then the college president backed them up — without watching the video.

A college president, an athletic director at a large state school — these are people near the top of their game, what were they thinking?

People get paid to coach other people’s kids are no different than people who get paid to teach them, except they get paid more, A LOT more. Rice’s base pay was $650,000 a year.

A professor who threw books at students and shoved them around a science lab wouldn’t last long on any campus, but we continue to give a separate set of standards to coaches.

As smart as the administration of Rutgers must be, they forgot one basic rule. If a video exists of something, anything, it will get out, and if shows something outrageous, millions of people will view it and judge it and second guess the decisions made by rooms full of smart people.

Our movements are record so often that we forget the camera is on. There are cameras everywhere. The next time you walk across the parking lot of a Wal-Mart look up at the roof, there are dozens of cameras there and mounted in the ceiling inside. Scores of stores have cameras that record the movements of both customers and employees.

Police cars have dash cams; they even have cameras that read your license plate and scans databases to see if you are in trouble anywhere.

If you use an ATM or buy gas at the pump, you probably have your photo taken.

Nearly every college student has a high-definition video camera in his or her pocket. It’s called their iPhone and they taken them everywhere they go.

Do something illegal, or just plain wrong, and those images will come back to haunt you.

If you are high profile enough, those images likely will be eventually be viewed by millions. It would seem smart people would have learned that lesson by now. They haven’t.


Article Comments



Apr-04-13 9:34 PM

1984 has finally arrived, and it not pretty.


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