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Rutgers' assistant Jimmy Martelli resigns amid Rice scandal

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) A Rutgers assistant men's basketball coach has resigned amid a scandal over the way his former boss treated players.

A Rutgers athletic department spokesman confirmed Thursday that assistant coach Jimmy Martelli had left the program.

Coach Mike Rice was fired on Wednesday after a video was made public showing him shoving and kicking players, throwing basketballs at them and berating them with gay slurs.

Martelli's decision was first reported by The Star-Ledger. The newspaper also reported that Martelli was seen in a portion of the video that was not broadcast on television shoving a player during a practice.

"I am sickened that as an assistant coach, I contributed in any way to an unacceptable culture. Wednesday, I resigned from Rutgers and I hope that coaches on all levels will learn something important from these events," Martelli said in a statement released by a law firm. "For my actions, I am deeply sorry and I apologize to the players from the bottom of my heart."

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."

A native of Media, Pa., Martelli served as an assistant coach at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., in 2006-07. He helped recruit a freshman class that was integral in the school achieving a No. 1 national ranking and its first Division III Final Four appearance in 2009-10.

Martelli began his coaching career in 2005-06 as an assistant Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., where he was the starting point guard for two years.

In addition to his coaching and playing experience, Martelli has worked at notable basketball camps. He worked the prestigious Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp from 2004-2007 and also served as director of the Saint Joseph's summer camp for eight years.

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