TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

When is it OK to play hooky from work?

TODAY’s Professionals – Star Jones, Donny Deutsch, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman – chat about the hot topics of the day, debating when it’s OK to take a sick day off of work when you’re not really sick.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> hoda thank you. now to today's professionals to tackle today's hottest stories. hi all. let's start with rutgers university we know part of this story. the basketball coach was fired after that videotape came out showing him physically and verbally abusing his players. we know the athletic director also resigned because of the way he handled the situation. knowing about it for five months and not firing the coach only suspending him. here's the part that's getting a lot of attention. mike rice the basketball coach walks way with more than a million dollars and a bonus for finishing the last season, the athletic director who resigned over his handling of the situation walks away with a $1.2 million and two years worth of health insurance . how do we feel about that?

>> when a ceo does horrible at a company and stock goes down 90% if they fire him he still legally gets his severance. i don't think the two are related. it sounds ridiculous. if somebody gets fired unless they are doing something illegal they get what's in their contract. does it feel wrong? yes. is there anything wrong with it? no.

>> and it sounds more like a buy out for a settlement so there's no future litigation, because if the athletic director was instructed by fortunate and/or the board and/or legal advisers to do a particular action and he did that action firing him without a settlement agreement would hit them back. it leaves a bad taste in people's mouth especially when this is a public university and egregious behavior. from a legal standpoint there's no recourse to follow through but it does leave a bad taste .

>> let's move on. president obama on a fundraising trip to california a few days ago introduced the state's attorney general at an event and after singing her praises in terms of her brilliance and dedication he said the following quote, she also happens to be by far the best looking attorney general in the country, end quote. the reaction was pretty swift. was at any time wrong thing to say?

>> yes.

>> it was a biden moment.

>> it was a compliment.

>> i understand. she's an attorney general. she happens to be really good looking. she probably is the best looking ag in the country. as the president of the united states it cross ad professional line.

>> it was regrettable.

>> he didn't only say she was pretty she was brilliant and dedicated.

>> it's regrettable because it's a distraction for him and he has better judgment than this. but yes. i'm sure she thought it was nice.

>> let's do a little role play. nancy i think you're the greatest looking surgeon i've ever seen.

>> you're right.

>> excuse me what about me.

>> no --

>> you compliment me.

>> it's an attribute like a sense of humor. if a woman said that to a man you are the greatest looking president i've ever seen nobody would have an issue. if we want true equality --

>> if there were a female president and she said that about a male attorney general we would be having the same conversation.

>> absolutely.

>> if hilary actually made that same comment about biden -- you know that's just a given. we would have the same skigs? -- discussion?

>> they are friend. we are becoming way too politically correct and it was a funny moment.

>>> this one comes to a footnote, magic johnson about his son who was gay and how much he loves him. we started talking around here and magazine swrik as this incredible athlete. it's interesting in 2013 with attitudes towards homosexuality changing in this country there isn't a single major athlete in a major professional sport playing right now who has come out and said --

>> no.

>> -- i'm gay.

>> there's whispers.

>> it's said 10% of athletes are gay just like the population.

>> what will it take to have someone come out?

>> one brave person. i have a lot of gay friends. we talked about it. if all of a sudden you're in the locker room and naked together, guys don't look at it that way they will look at straight guys. it's ridiculous. it will take one guy to change just like --

>> it's not like a gay guy has been looking at you in the locker room already.

>> it's destructive to the team and locker room and that's not true. every athlete says it's ridiculous.

>> if one recognizable high-profile major sports athlete comes out and says i'm gay do you think the floodgates open?

>> they say they don't want it to be a distraction to the team. not right away. also this country right now is so progressive on gay issues that the door is wide-open.

>> it's a whole different ball game. in the sports environment people use whatever they perceive as your vulnerabilities against you in a competition. people say things in the huddle, they make racist comments that we would be upset about. they will make homosexual --

>> i know a couple of document engineer film makers trying to do a documentary about this thing. one by one but they won't come out.

>> " usa today " tweeted this, 80% said they called in sick to watch or attend a sporting event . that number sound right to you

>> absolutely.

>> have you ever called in sick or miss ad part of work because you have an urgent sporting event ?

>> i used to cut school to watch basketball.

>> i had to go to work.

>> you had a job to do.

>> if people are doing their job great who cares if they do something like that.

>> if an employer embraced it. it builds teamwork.

>> on a day like this absolutely cut work .

>> get more out of your employees if you allow them --

>> absolutely. hire the outlaws you'll be ahead.

>> i've done it i have