Investigation: Rutgers acted appropriately
A law firm investigating former Rutgers defensive coordinator Dave Cohen concluded that he did not bully former player Jevon Tyree and there was no retaliation against the player, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The investigation by New Jersey-based firm Saiber LLC also found the university responded to the matter appropriately.
Tyree quit the team last November after claiming Cohen verbally abused him and threatened to head-butt him during a study hall session at the school during the spring. Tyree also alleged that Cohen treated him unfairly once the season started.
The incident occurred in front of teammates and an academic adviser, who reported it while Rutgers was under national scrutiny stemming from the release of videotapes showing then-basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing his players and yelling homophobic slurs.
The investigation found Cohen did use inappropriate language toward Tyree, but also concluded that head coach Kyle Flood appropriately responded within hours of learning about the incident. Flood immediately reprimanded Cohen and addressed the situation with the entire coaching staff.
Cohen was one of three assistants fired after the season. Wake Forest recently hired him as defensive line coach.
"It was an unfortunate event, but we were happy to find that within hours of these issues being brought to the attention (of athletics officials), action was taken," Rutgers spokesman Pete McDonough said. "It's reassuring to know that our systems are working."
Saiber LLC interviewed nearly 40 people, including Tyree, his parents, Cohen, Flood and athletic director Julie Hermann. The firm also reviewed several documents, including phone records and e-mails.
According to the investigation, Hermann took appropriate action immediately after finding out about the situation in September 2013. Also, calls she received from a person claiming to be Tyree's father were made by another unknown person.
Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, who has assisted the family in the matter, declined comment.
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