Rutgers University defensive coordinator Dave Cohen is accused of bullying, verbally abusing, and even threatening to harm a Scarlet Knights football player.
Rutgers defensive back Jevan Tyree, 19, and his parents are seeking disciplinary action against Cohen, who allegedly called him a “p*ssy” and a “bitch.”
Tyree, cousin of NY Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree, told NJ.com that the coach even threatened to head butt him during a study session in April in full view of at least 10 of his teammates and a tutor.
Tyree cracked a joke about haircuts and Cohen allegedly exploded.
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"He was just trying to really make me feel as if I was soft," Tyree said. "He got all up in my face. Coach Cohen has a lisp, so he was in my face telling me he'll head-butt me, and he was kind of spitting in my face as he was saying it. I was just pulling my head back, looking at him like, 'Is this guy out of his mind? Is he crazy?' "
His mother, Clarice Tyree, called it "an outright bullying episode.”
His father, Mark Tyree, said the bullying caught on and “transferred to the other coaches.”
Tyree, who was on scholarship, soon found he was giving less playing time and his standing on the team took a nose-dive. This month, he quit the team.
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Rutgers released a statement Friday claiming the Cohen apologized for "the following day for his participation in the escalation of the banter" and he was reprimanded by head coach Kyle Flood.
But the school says "at no time was there any threat of physical violence, which was verified by an academic counselor, who was present in the room."
Flood met with Tyree and his parents, but the Tyree’s say the matter was not settled to their satisfaction.
"Basically, my dad went in there and told Coach Cohen there's going to be no more bullying towards me," Jevon Tyree said. "Basically that's what it was -- I was just bullied by him for no reason."
"I really think disciplinary action should happen, almost to the point where (Cohen) should get fired. I really do," Mark Tyree said. "That's how bad it is, especially for the damage he's done to Jevon."
He says the school’s athletic director, Julie Hermann, has refused to meet with him on the matter. He said if he can’t get her to grant him a meeting he is considering going to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.