Richard Slattery/New York Daily News
Rutgers defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, seen here while head coach at Hofstra, is being accused of verbally abusing a player.
Rutgers, only seven months removed from a bullying scandal that garnered national attention, is in the hot seat again.
The football team’s defensive coordintaor is being accused of getting in a student-athlete’s face, calling him a “p—-” and a “b—-” and threatening to head-butt him during a study hall session in April — the same month men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was fired for abusive behavior and language.
Cornerback Jevon Tyree — who has since quit the team — and his parents, Mark and Clarice, have sought disciplinary action against Dave Cohen, according to a report on NJ.com. The incident, which the 19-year-old said occurred in front of approximiately 10 teammates and a tutor, led to his being excluded from team meetings and not having a shot at playing time, according to the redshirt freshman.
“I really think disciplinary action should happen, almost to the point where (Cohen) should get fired. I really do,” Mark Tyree told NJ.com. “That’s how bad it is, especially for the damage he’s done to Jevon.”
The parents said they met with both Cohen and head coach Kyle Flood. “(Cohen) tried to apologize,” Mark Tyree said, “and I was like, ‘Well, the apology really isn’t accepted. We want Jevon to get an opportunity. He’s been battling this abuse and it’s been trickling down to your other coaches on defense.’ “
Tyree’s father said athletic director Julie Hermann, who’s been accused of verbal abuse in the past, has refused to grant him a meeting.
Tyree believes his problems with Cohen stem from a hamstring injury he suffered while running a 40-yard dash during spring practice. He said the defensive coordinator may have thought he was “trying to avoid reps” or faking his injury, because Cohen later had “derogatory words” toward him.
A former star at South Brunswick High School, Tyree is still figuring out where he’ll transfer to play football.