The cynics are right on this one: there’s no doubt that Mike Rice’s firing came only because the video of him verbally and physically intimidating his players was on ESPN. But that does up the ante for the scandal. Describing what Rice did to his players might be damning, but having a clickable, watchable, shareable video takes it to another level.
Any players Rice would have recruited in the future would have seen that video, and it would have been the first question any parent asked during those all-important living room conversations with a prospective coach. Rutgers is already in a tough media market, would Rice have managed to be a darling of WFAN?
As another Rutgers alum knows well, video tells a story like no other medium can. In this case, it blew up what Rutgers had clearly hoped would be a private affair.