Ex-Rutgers Coach Mike Rice Speaks Out

Act 1: Rice tells ABC's Robin Roberts, "It's unacceptable...it's something...that I'm not proud of."
8:58 | 11/08/13

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Transcript for Ex-Rutgers Coach Mike Rice Speaks Out
Tonight, if you're a parent you've likely seen one of those coaches on the sidelines out of bounds, out of control losing it. But we never saw anything quite like this. You'll remember the one time rutgers coach hurling basketballs and homophobic slurs at his players, tonight he is speaking out about it for the first time. The robin roberts exclusive, the coach saddled with regret. Hoping for redemption. The tape he can't erase. Reporter: It's a scene that goes on all over america. Sunday afternoon, here on the jersey shore, 15 year old michael and his dad shooting a few hoops in the driveway. Now I'll show you what dads all across america do. Reporter: His sister, katie, offering tips to dad, a college basketball coach you had likely never heard of before mike rice was featured in the highlight reel seen 'round the world. Take a look at this shocking video making headlines this morning. A basketball coach caught on tape attacking his players. Reporter: Rutgers university coach mike rice losing it, kicking players in the rear end, hurling balls at their heads and their groins, smacking them with foam pads. Big, strong athletes against their coach, defenseless. When you turn up the sound, you hear the verbal abuse. Ranting, swearing, even screaming homophobic slurs. The story went viral earlier this year unleashing cries of outrage. New jersey governor chris christie weighed in. What parent would let this animal in their living rooms to recruit their son? Reporter: If mike rice was kobe bryant's coach. I would smack the hell out of him. Reporter: A punch line on the daily show. Reporter: Spoofed on "saturday night live." Reporter: And sports commentators cried foul. Why does this man still have a job as the head basketball coach for rutgers university? He should be fired. Reporter: When the story exploded, so did mike's career. I met him, and his wife kerry, last week for a no holds barred conversation. When it became public, what was your reaction to how people were, were taking it? My first reaction, when I saw the tape was one of embarrassment, of shock. Of sadness, that I would put myself in a situation like this. Reporter: How do you defend throwing a ball at players, striking players, the verbal abuse, the anti-gay slurs. You don't. It's unacceptable. It's something that I'll never get over. Reporter: Kerry, when mike came home, after the public had seen that video, what was it like at home? It was devastating, for all of us, to live through those first few days, especially, with the video being played over and over again. Reporter: The video made mike rice the poster boy for abusive coaching, but he's hardly the first coach to be caught behaving badly. Former indiana hoosiers bobby knight, famous for his temper tantrums. Look it here. Look it here. Bobby knight just threw a chair. Reporter: Passion and competitive drive are a big part of the culture of basketball, and for rice, it's a family tradition. His mother was a college player, his father himself an intense coach and nba broadcaster. You could say that mike was born to coach basketball. Everyone in my immediate family had earned a division one scholarship. And you have state champions, and you have hall of famers. It was fun. It was fun being raised in that type of environment. Reporter: Your father has the distinction of being the only broadcaster to be ejected from a game, for arguing a call. He's certainly unique and passed it along, really passed it along. We have a lot of passion, and a lot of energy, and a lot of intensity. Reporter: "New york times" reporter jonathon mahler has been following rice for six months. He had a very particular upbringing. He is wired a certain way. He's an incredibly intense, passionate, emotional person. These are things that helped make him a successful and a very good basketball coach, even possibly a great basketball coach, but there are also things that made him unable to control himself. Reporter: Those emotions carried rice and his team on a three year winning streak at robert morris university, a small western pennsylvania school. Then, the break of a lifetime. The big leagues. Head coach at rutgers university. Annual salary, $650,000. The mandate, get the team out of dead last and fast. The media were calling us the leftovers. And the inexperienced coach from a small school in western pennsylvania. So I had a chip on my shoulders. And I think I put a lot on myself to show people, "a," that I could do it, and "b," that this program was going to take off, was going to change, and i was going to help change it. Reporter: Were you ready? Looking back now, no. I let some of that pressure, some of that stress, dictate some things that I did, some mistakes that I made. Reporter: Mike's credo, practice must be harder than games. That temper never far from the surface. I thought it was necessary to get my team, or that individual, to be tougher. Reporter: And rice was plenty tough on the sidelines during games, even getting himself thrown out. An early warning sign that his emotions were getting out of control. Then rutgers athletic director tim pernetti sat him down after losing to the louisville cardinals. I got two technicals in louisville. Tim pernetti said, you're embarrassing, you're such a good coach, why would you embarrass yourself and insult the university in acting like that? So, yeah, people did try to warn me. Reporter: Even his wife tried to warn him about his on court language. The language, my wife had talked to me about the language for three years. Reporter: Do you remember the conversations you had with him, and what you said to him? There were times when the language was definitely inappropriate. And what I would try and say was, "you're such a great coach, you have such an incredible passion and intensity. Can you be that way and not use the language?" And he'd say, "yes, yes, I'll try." Reporter: But it was getting too late for warnings. One of the his assistant coaches -- former nba player eric murdock -- had a falling out with rice. When murdock's contract was not renewed, he left determined to expose the head coach's controversial methods. I mean, it was, you know, negative, negative, negative. I'm having sidebars with these kids after practice because this is their first time going through it. Murdock asked rutgers for the tapes of all mike rice's practices over the course of two seasons. And because rutgers is a state university it couldn't refuse the request. Reporter: Out of the public records hundreds of hours of practice tape. Murdock made a clip reel focusing on rice's temper tantrums and delivered it to officials. You feel eric murdock sent the video to the school, why did he send it to the school? You have to ask him on those type of questions. I can only answer and explain or try to explain my actions. Reporter: Rutgers launched an investigation. The report the investigation produced didn't say "you must fire mike rice." It condemned some of his actions, but for the most part, it didn't exactly exonerate him. But, I think he felt that this was over. Reporter: Rice was suspended for three games. Fines and lost income amounted to $75,000 and he was ordered to report to anger management counseling. Do you have an anger issue? That's what a lot of people ask. The biggest misnomer, or mis -- uh, fact. Because, if you watch practice, if anybody watched practice, i would lose self-control at times. Yeah. But, two minutes after that, or two minutes previous to that, I'm high-fiving and cheering. I could be, the same person that I did that to -- I would, you know, be chest bumping, literally two minutes later. Reporter: With the suspension over, rice was back in the game. I want to apologize to them and allow them to understand that I'm going to change, and you're going to be proud of this program. Reporter: Rice thought the episode was behind him, but eric murdock was just getting started.

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

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