The Rutgers Scandal

After a scandal, how does one try to regain some of what they lost? Well, they probably won’t but through hard work and good publicity, there is a good chance that good deeds can overshadow, not erase, the bad.

The video that shocked America. Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice physically abusing his players and throwing homophobic slurs at them. This video cost him [Rice] his job and his reputation. Prior to this incident, Rice was a three time champion at Robert Morris University.

Recently, ex-Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice broke his silence on the infamous abuse scandal surrounding him. He interviewed with Robin Roberts from “Good Morning America” and professed that what he did “was unacceptable.” Mike continues to answer almost every question with “inexcusable” and “embarrassed.”

As a PR consultant, it is priority to make the client seem as apologetic as possible. As with Mike Rice, his team made sure that he kept using terms to portray his regret. It is also imperative that the client acknowledge what they’ve done. Rice does not deny any of his actions and instead continues to say how sorry he is that he ever committed these actions.

Rice’s team also used another person to make Rice seem more relatable, in this case his family. The video starts out showing Mike Rice playing basketball with his son and his wife sits in with him during the interview. Showing the video of Rice playing basketball with his son shows the non-violent side of him and makes him appear as a well-meaning dad. His wife sitting with him during the interview also shows the audience that he is still a family man and is supported by his family. These approaches make Rice seem more relatable to the general public because it is easier to feel emotion toward someone who is shown being familial, such as playing basketball with his son.

With a scandal such as this one, it is up to the PR team to make the client seem as little like a villain as possible. Mike Rice’s team did just that. They make sure that he answered every question apologetically and tried to portray just how sorry he was for his actions. The team also showed him outside the video, playing basketball with his son and having his wife beside him made Rice seem more approachable and not the guy in the videos. There is no way to predict how the public is going to react to a person once they have been involved in some sort of scandal, but the team will do their best to make the client seem as sorry as possible.

By: Kaitlyn Breloff

Kaitlyn is a junior English major with a Spanish minor. She is currently involved in PRSSA and Gamma Sigma Sigma.


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