SBD/November 18, 2013/Colleges

Rutgers Football Coach Accused Of Bullying Former Player, AD Hermann Faces Scrutiny

Cohen apologized the day after the incident, according to a Rutgers statement
Former Rutgers Univ. DB Jevon Tyree and his parents have accused the school of "protecting another bullying coach" in defensive coordinator Dave Cohen just seven months after men's basketball coach Mike Rice was "fired for bullying his players," according to Dan Duggan of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Tyree and his parents, Mark and Clarice, have "sought disciplinary action" against Cohen, who "during a spring study hall session, got in Tyree's face ... eventually driving him to quit." Rutgers in a statement released Friday said that Cohen "apologized 'the following day for his participation in the escalation of the banter' and head coach Kyle Flood reprimanded him." The statement said Flood "met with Tyree and his parents." The statement added that AD Julie Hermann spoke to Tyree's father and "confirmed that the matter was resolved to his satisfaction." But while Mark and Clarice Tyree acknowledged that they "had meetings with Cohen and Flood," they said that they have "'never' spoken with Hermann." Mark Tyree said that Hermann "has stiff-armed him by refusing to grant him a meeting" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/16). Clarice Tyree, "outraged by the back-and-forth" with the athletic department, challenged Hermann to "produce her phone records." Hermann on Saturday "was asked who's lying about the phone calls." She responded, "It's not Rutgers athletics" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/17).

TRUST FALL: In Newark, Steve Politi noted Rutgers in its statement said that Hermann herself "spoke to the parents twice to address their concerns," but the parents said that the conversations "never happened." Mark Tyree said, "That is insane." Politi prior to Saturday's Cincinnati-Rutgers game asked Hermann, who was "mingling with fans gathering before before the noon kickoff," if she talked to the parents. Hermann responded, "We issued our statement. We were aware of it and we reviewed it again, which Kyle did. So, I’m not trying to …" Politi recounted when Hermann's answer "trailed off," he again asked "Did you speak to him?" Hermann answered, "Yeah. Somebody -- if it’s not him, who calls me and informs me of it? Otherwise I wouldn’t know about it. So I’m not trying to call -- I’m not trying to use big words like the words he’s using, but I’m informed by him, to my knowledge." Politi: "It wasn’t convincing, to say the least. Maybe there are notes in her office with details from the meeting or phone records detailing the call. If there are, it would be a good idea to produce them." This is an issue now "because Rutgers hired somebody with a questionable track record when it comes to the truth." Politi: "Hermann had to nail this one. She needed to have a strong, bulletproof response." The bigger problem for Rutgers "is the trust issues" with the AD (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/17).
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