Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 9, 2013

Ex-NU coach Jack Armstrong reflects on Rutgers scandal


Niagara Gazette —

In retrospect, Armstrong, 50, conceded that when he coached in his late 20s or early 30s, he would sometimes totally flip-out and yell at players. "Yes, I would even grab a player by the shirt and move him from one spot to the next (in practice) but you did that in the 1980s, and it was accepted. You can't do that in 2013." Armstrong added: "If my own kid was playing and acting like a jerk or being a wise-guy, I'd fully expect the coach to thoroughly ream him out. But if the coach started smacking him, pushing him around and throwing balls at him, I'd have a problem with that."

Asked what he saw as Rice's future, Armstrong replied: "Mike is a good man. We all know people who have screwed up and deserved what they got. But Mike will grow from this. He will be better for it." Armstrong said that after the scandal broke, he texted Rice to comfort him "He knows he messed and he's very sorry about it. I intend to stay in touch with him."

Armstrong, the NU coach from 1989 to 1998, led the Purple Eagles to a 23-7 season in 1992-93, when he was named the New York State Division 1 Coach of the Year. He later joined the Toronto radio station. He is a color commentator for the Toronto Raptors games and a college basketball analyst on TSN.  

He and his wife, Dena, have three sons and the family lives in Lewiston.



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