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Bend coach, player react to Rutgers video

By Kim Tobin
Published On: Apr 05 2013 07:43:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 05 2013 08:01:53 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Kim Tobin spoke with Bend coaches and players about the Rutgers video released this week, showing the head coach verbally and physically abusing his athletes.

Days after controversial video was released showing Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing his players, Bend coaches and players said Friday they were shocked by what they saw.

The video has drawn lots of attention, not just on the basketball court, but in every sport.

At a tennis tournament, Summit head coach Josh Cordell said he found the video very disappointing.

"You really shouldn't get into coaching if you don't want to build kids up," Cordell said.

Cordell says now-fired Rice had it all wrong. When Cordell is coaching his tennis or youth basketball players, he says he's not a screamer, or one to curse. And when they're on the court, he keeps the message positive.

"You want to instill that drive to win, and you want to love the game, and love competition," Cordell said. "But if you're not compassionate with your athletes and you don't really care about giving them to tools to help them in life, you're just missing it."

After being fired, Rice did admit he shouldn't have treated his players that way.

"There's no explanation for what's on those films, because there is no excuse," Rice said. "I was wrong."

Summit sophomore Connor Steele saw the video online and says he couldn't believe the coach was pushing and kicking his players.

"II don't think a coach should treat a player that way," said Steele. "And Josh is really good about letting us know, in a very friendly manner, what's right and what's wrong, and not being so harsh about it."

If a coach ever stepped out of line, Connor says he would feel comfortable telling someone. But he says he doesn't expect that to happen, and he just wants to keep his head in the game.

"You know, high school sports are important, but I think the most important thing to remember is that it's all for the fun of it," Steele said.

Cordell says he hopes the video gets parents talking to coaches, asking about their philosophies and to get an idea of their coaching practices.

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