Former Rutgers cornerback Jevon Tyree, who left the program last month, has accused Scarlet Knights defensive coordinator Dave Cohen of bullying tactics.
NJ.com reported that Tyree and his family want disciplinary action taken against Cohen, 46, in his second season at the school and his first as the coordinator. The Tyrees allege Cohen called the player a number of vulgarities during a study-hall session last spring. Tyree, a redshirt freshman, played in one game this season before leaving the team last month.
"He got in my face, threatened to head-butt me, called me soft, and said I'm a [Division III] player with a [Division I] scholarship," Tyree told NJ.com. "I don't know if he was trying to make me feel low or if that was truly how he felt."
Tyree told nj.com that Cohen's outburst led to other events that eventually caused him to quit the team. His mother, Clarice Tyree, called it "an outright bullying episode," and his father, Mark Tyree, said the behavior soon "transferred to the other coaches." Jevon Tyree told NJ.com that after the incident, he felt that his standing on the team dropped and that he was excluded from some team meetings.
Rutgers released a statement Friday night in reaction to the story.
"The situation between Jevon Tyree and Dave Cohen took place in the spring and was dealt with immediately," the statement said. "Cohen apologized the following day for his participation in the escalation of banter, which resulted in the use of inappropriate language. [Coach] Kyle Flood reprimanded Cohen and addressed the situation immediately. ... This was an isolated incident. At no time was there any threat of physical violence, which was verified by an academic counselor who was present in the room."
Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice on April 3 after a video surfaced of Rice verbally and physically abusing players.