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“Assembly speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) called Rice's conduct "unacceptable not only at our state university, but in all circumstances. It is offensive and unbecoming of our state. "Mike Rice should no longer be employed by Rutgers University. He must go. Meanwhile, the decision not to dismiss him last year needs a complete and thorough review." Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) called Rice's conduct indefensible and said he should have been fired in December, after the tape was given to Pernetti. Gusciora also said Pernetti's decision deserves a full review. "If the university does not act, I will seek to add a provision to the state budget defunding Mr. Rice's salary," Gusciora said. "Taxpayers should not be paying for this behavior." James weighed in with a tweet: "If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I'm still gone whoop on him afterwards! C'mon." Ray Allen, a member of the University of Connecticut's board of directors and James' teammate with the Miami Heat, also reacted angrily after watching the videotape of Rice. "It was despicable," Allen told ESPN.com. "Throwing the ball at them -- it made me want to fight [Rice]. It made me want to fight this guy. Because that was me -- wanting to learn, making mistakes. "You're not doing it on purpose. You're trying to learn. And that's what coaches should do -- you teach. Yelling at kids and throwing the ball at them, there's no place to that." Allen also said he would try to get Rice fired had the incidents occurred at UConn. "I would do everything I could to make sure that coach got fired -- in any sport -- because there's no place for that," he said. Rice, hired by Pernetti three years ago, is 44-51 at Rutgers, including 16-38 in the Big East, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris. The Scarlet Knights went 15-16 this season and 5-13 in the Big East. Pernetti told WFAN that he understands why many are asking why Rice wasn't fired after the initial investigation. Pernetti said his decision to only suspend Rice was made in part because the coach was remorseful and admitted he made mistakes. Pernetti said Rice also worked hard to improve himself with counseling. "I spent more time with that option on whether we should fire Mike or not than any other option," Pernetti said. "At the same time, the results of the investigation and where we ended up, the determination was made to suspend him. "My biggest concern as the AD is that I am always trying to protect the interests and reputation of the university, and that's what makes this one so difficult. There is a lot of hindsight, 20-20, that will be that there will be no other option than to terminate Mike. I made that decision. I am accountable for it. I have to live with it." Rice was Pernetti's first major hire after getting the AD's job. "In the end, I am not going to look back and say shoulda, woulda. All I can do is figure out going forward the decisions I can make to fix the problem for Rutgers," Pernetti told WFAN. ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The reaction -- we knew what it was going to be. I need to sit here and think about what gives us the ability to be effective going forward in men's basketball, and more importantly, what protects the university. There's a lot of things on my mind right now that I'm thinking through and trying to make sure that whatever decisions I make on a going-forward basis, that we try to make the right one.” -- Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti to WFAN regarding Mike Rice's future at the school