NEW YORK, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Mike Rice, in his first interview since he was fired as Rutgers basketball coach in April for abusing players, said a removal such as his "changes a person."
"I won't be perfect going forward, but I've changed," he said in an interview with ABC News to be aired Friday. "Having that taken away, your dream job, and having it done in such a visible way, and hurting the people closest to me, it changes a person."
Rice, 44, was suspended, and later fired, from the New Jersey university after videotapes of basketball practices showed him throwing basketballs at players and using abusive language, including homophobic slurs.
He has remained out of the public spotlight since his firing, and spent the summer with former NBA star John Lucas at Lucas' Houston retreat, where Rice underwent counseling. The two have since traveled the country, working at instructional clinics, the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger reported Wednesday.