Losing It: Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice

Rice lost his temper, then his job, after video of his homophobia-laced rant at players went viral.
8:24 | 04/06/13

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Transcript for Losing It: Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice
And this evening, the fallout is growing after that explosive video tape seen by the nation. The rutgers coach, kicking and shoving his players, hurling basketballs but homophonetic slurs. He's been fired. And just hours ago, the athletic director, well, he's out now, too. So, tonight here, we look at all types of anger caught on tape. Americans losing it. On the court, in the workplace, even at home. And we start with the kind of anger that can begin all the way back on the little league field. He is the coach caught on tape unleashing a firestorm that is still growing tonight. Rutgers basketball coach mike rice, losing it in this now infamous video at practice. First aired by our partners at espn this week. Watch as he grabs the players, he shoves them. He kicks them. He throws basketballs at him. Firing this one straight at the player's head. And when you turn the sound up? That's when you hear the verbal abuse. Rice is caught screaming homophobic slurs at his players. You fairy! Reporter: And tonight "20/20" has learned it wasn't just the head coach. Watch this video. Our first glimpse now at mike rice's assistant coach, nicknamed baby rice. And when you see the behavior, you'll know why. Rutgers assistant coach jimmy martelli taking aim, throwing basketballs, too, and throwing homophobic slurs too. You ! Reporter: Tonight not only has the head coach been fired, the assistant coach has resigned. And just hoursrutgers announcing the athletic director is now out, too. I have accepted his resignation. Reporter: He saw the tape months before the rest of the world did and it's now shining a spotlight not only on rutgers but on the relationship between coaches and their players across this country. Players who trained in defense, but are defenseless when on the court with their coach. We played the video for psychologist ray digiuseppe a leading expert on anger management. When you look at those players, on that court. Correct. They're big people and they're strong and they're intimidated. Reporter: And when you see him pushing around players that tower over him? He's not afraid of them. He doesn't think they have any power to retaliate. Reporter: On the rutgers campus just today, the mother of forward austin johnson told of the growing fallout. She says the video reveals far more than just a coach out of bounds. This is a culture. This is my son. This is my son who I entrusted to an organization, to an institution to take good care of him and he was not taken good care of. Reporter: You think there's a culture of these athletes afraid of the system? I do. I think it's not even questionable. It's because they've been disempowered to believe if that they do something there's a higher price to pay. Reporter: While rice is now gone, he's hardly the first to be caught on camera behaving badly. We all remember indiana basketball coach bobby knight revered for his record. Reviled for his behavior. Bobby night just threw a chair! Reporter: And then there are the coaches whose names are lesser known. New jersey devils coach robbie fitorek erupts after a disputed call and throws a bench onto the rink. A player's mistake sends morehead state college basketball coach sean wood over the edge. The shaken player struggles to keep his composure. A player celebrationrks a torrent of profanities from mark m mangino. That's a penalty, it's on y you! Reporter: Why do we seem to see more of this in sports? I think we have allowed people within athletic a way to get away with what they want. They're worth a lot of money. They bring in lots of money. They are important financially to the institutions they work for. And therefore, we're going to look the other way when they do these things. Aggression proliferates where it's tolerat Reporter: And it turns out it's tolerated long before athletes get this far. It can begin when they're children, on the little league field. On the ice. This hockey coach going down the line, shaking the hands of players from the opposing team. He nears the end of the line and suddenly takes out two of the players. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Reporter: We've all seen the images of coaches, even with little kids, and the parents in the stands. This begins young. It is something that kids do very early. And afterwards, it's very much influenced by what they see works. Reporter: Kids see very early on that angry coaches often lead the way. And they see that angry people get to dominate other people and control them. So, the models that we have are really important. Reporter: Many of those coaches in the early years are also parents. Their children on the team. This casein on "good morning america," shows a dad at a youth football game in california, storming onto the field, angry at another player for tackling his son. The 36-year-old adult levels the 13-year-old player. I had my straps off and then he just came out of nowhere and hit me from behind. Reporter: Then, this youth football game in miami. After the ref throws a penalty flag, an assistant coach charges the field to confront him. Alarmed by his behavior, the game is ended. The coach slaps the ref so hard, he ends up on his knees. I've been doing this for 14 years and I've never had anything like that. You have people yell stuff at you, but they're pretty much vague threats. They actually went through with it. Reporter: And while these cases might seem extreme, abusive behavior plays out on fields across america, often accepted. Even by the parents who see it. We would never allow the chemistry teacher or the piano teacher or the sunday schoolteacher to act this way towards our children. And yement because it's sports, it seems like, okay, this is the norm. And that's a var sad statement. Reporter: But even if you are a parent telling yourself tonight that you'd step in, watch this. You are a loser. Pathetic. Reporter: Abc news challenging that premise. Our "what would you do?" Seteam getting actors to play the roles of the coach and the players. This coach tormenting two athletes in a public park. You don't have asthma. You have pansy in you, that's it. Come on! Reporter: And then our coach gets physical. Nearly mirrors what we saw in that rutgers video. Let's go, come on. Reporter: Onlookers, many of them parents, watch as the coach refuses to give the young athlete water. Coach, I need water! Water, sflrt aalready? Give me ten solid push-ups. Reporter: Incredibly, our team counted. 166 people, adults, passing by. Are you going to puke? I don't know. If you're going to puke, get it over with. Reporter: And of them, just 14 actually say something. And some park goers actually defend the behavior. Doesn't bother me. I survived it. Made me a better person. Reporter: But there was this mother who stepped in. Why are you stopping on me? Why are you quitting? Stop. Stop. Leave this kid alone, please. He's my player. That is not the way you're going to make this work. You are a wimp. You are pathetic. Reporter: Christina wagner has a young son who plays sports. Why are you intervening? I told him to call his parents. My little boy loves sports and we are always very positive with him. And to see somebody being cut down like that was just devastating. The world's a scary place and we have to stand up and do what's right. That's my only advice. Be strong and help others. Reporter: As that young mother stepped in to help, tonight, another mother devastated by that video the nation watched this week. Her son towering over that rutgers coach, but still defenseless. She's arguing now for a call to action, for parents on the sidelines, to say something, to do something. We have to now empower our children to say enough is enough. And that we are not going to stand idly by because you dangled a scholarship in our hands and allowed you to get away with all manners of evil.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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