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Rutgers athletic director resigns in wake of player abuse scandal

By Mariano Castillo and Jason Hanna

(CNN) — Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti has resigned in the wake of a player abuse scandal that prompted the school to fire its men’s basketball coach this week.

In a resignation letter to the school’s president obtained by CNN Friday, Pernetti said that his “continued tenure as athletic director is no longer sustainable for the university.”

Rutgers is due to hold a news conference Friday afternoon.

Pernetti had come under fire for not taking more serious initial disciplinary action against coach Mike Rice, who was fired Friday after ESPN aired a video that showed him shoving and berating players.

The network said the video shows practice sessions shot between 2010 and 2012 in which the coach also threw basketballs at players.

“You f**king fairy … you’re a f**king fa**ot,” Rice appears to say during one session.

An assistant coach on the team resigned the same day the school fired Rice.

The video initially had earned Rice a three-game suspension, a $75,000 fine and a ticket to anger management classes.

Before he resigned, Pernetti had said he made a mistake in favoring suspension for the head coach.

“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” Pernetti said in a written statement. “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong.”

“There’s no explanation for what’s on those videos because there’s no excuse for it,” Rice said after he was fired, according to CNN affiliate WABC. Still, he will walk away with a $100,000 longevity bonus, according to the university.

CNN’s Mark Norman and Jason Durand contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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