PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Rutgers University football player has quit the team amid allegations of bullying by a coach.
The Scarlet Knights athletic program has already been shamed once. The now-infamous video of former basketball coach Mike Rice went viral, showing him verbally and physically roughing up his players, throwing basketballs and hurling gay slurs at his players.
Now it seems the school may have another incident of a coach behaving badly on its hands — this time involving football defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, and former football player Jevon Tyree, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported Friday night.
Tyree says he was bullied and claims during a spring study hall session, Cohen was verbally abusive, called him names and threatened to head-butt him.
Friday night in a statement, a Rutgers University spokesperson said: “This was an isolated incident. At no time was there any threat of physical violence. Cohen apologized the following day for his participation in the escalation of banter, which resulted in the use of inappropriate language.”
According to Rutgers, Cohen was reprimanded for his actions.
This latest claim comes on the heels of NFL player Jonathan Martin leaving the Miami Dolphins after he said he was bullied. Martin says fellow teammate Richie Incognito used racist and vulgar language in voice mails and text messages sent to him.
But for a school that has seen its fair share of coaching controversies, some Rutgers students say harsh language isn’t that big of a deal.
“I would think it’s maybe common to motivate them, maybe,” one student said.
“You have to be a coach that can fire up your teammates and your players and stuff. These guys are almost grown men, so you have to be able to live with what people say,” another student said.
But the question still remains: when does a coach cross the line from motivating to bullying.
“The Mike Rice thing was a big deal, that’s overboard, throwing chairs. That’s not how you coach a team. That’s not how you motivate somebody,” a student said.
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