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Rutgers Assistant Basketball Coach Jimmy Martelli Resigns

Rutgers assistant men's basketball coach Jimmy Martelli has resigned, amid the fallout of a videotape that showed head coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing his players.

According to The Star-Ledger, which broke the story, Martelli resigned yesterday, at the same time Rice was fired.

ESPN, which obtained and aired the videotape, reports that like Rice, Martelli was also seen grabbing, throwing balls, shoving and screaming at players. At one point, ESPN reports, he uses a homophobic slur against one of the players.

The AP adds:

"Martelli, who also coached with Rice at Robert Morris, is the son of St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli. He was hired by Rutgers in May 2010.

"Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was asked on Tuesday whether Martelli was seen shoving players on the videotape.

"'Jimmy was spoken to about the manner. We dealt with that,' Pernetti told reporters after screening the Rice videotape for them. 'Certainly the tape focused on Mike but it brought some other things to light that we dealt with at the same time that we dealt with Mike.'"

ESPN reports that there is no word on whether Martelli was disciplined by the university.

The AP also moved a story today in which they talked to two basketball players on Rice's team who said the videos don't show the real Rice. The AP reports:

"'You can't let those individual moments define what he was,' junior forward Wally Judge said during a telephone interview Thursday. 'In my past two years, me being an older guy and being under other coaches, I have grown from the moment I stepped in these doors, not only as a player but also as a person because of how he has treated me.'

"Sophomore forward Austin Johnson agreed.

"'He did a lot for us off the court, academically, socially,' he said during a separate telephone conversation. 'I have to say I enjoyed my time, even it was an emotional rollercoaster.'"

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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