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Former Rutgers head coach Mike Rice seeks counsel from John Lucas

May 20, 2013, 7:28 PM EDT

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Mike Rice lost his job at Rutgers by repeatedly physically and mentally abusing his players. And it looks like he’s trying to get help with it.

A report from ESPN.com’s Andy Katz said that Rice has spent the past two weeks with former NBA guard John Lucas at his rehabilitation center in Houston getting counseled for his issues. Lucas’ center has helped many people with certain addictions or other problems, Tyrann Mathieu being one of the most notable patients, recently.

Rice, who was fired last month after video surfaced of Rice hitting his players and verbally berating them during practice. Former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti resigned as well.

“He’s doing great,” Lucas said. “His attitude has been phenomenal and our kids love his intensity and his passion for the game. He’s happy to be having this chance to give back a little bit.”

Lucas said that Rice won’t be granting interviews while he’s undergoing treatment.

If the motives are honest, which I can’t see why they wouldn’t be, good for Rice for at least taking the first few steps to come back from publicly shaming himself and his former employer. Lucas’ center has helped countless individuals in the two decades it has been opened.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten