College Football

Rutgers Defensive Coordinator Dave Cohen Accused of Bullying And Verbal Abuse By Former Player

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at RutgersFormer Rutgers DB Jevon Tyree has accused defensive coordinator Dave Cohen of bullying, eventually leading to him leaving the program. Tyree claims Cohen confronted him during an April study hall session, called him both a “pussy” and a “bitch” and threatened to head-butt him.

Tyree said Cohen was demeaning from the outset, comparing his skills to those of a Div. 3 player. The situation exploded during the study hall session, when Tyree said harmless banter about haircuts quickly escalated when Cohen “went off.”

“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?’ “

Tyree claims t he was ostracized and excluded from position group meetings following the incident. He quit the team this fall after being passed over for a converted wide receiver on the depth chart. According to Rutgers, Cohen apologized the following day for his role in the encounter and made no physical threat toward Tyree. Cohen also was reprimanded by head coach Kyle Flood (in undisclosed fashion). The school also claims Rutgers AD Julie Hermann spoke to Tyree and his parents and resolved the matter. Tyree and his parents deny ever having spoken with Hermann. The incident occurred just after former basketball coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti were fired, after video emerged of Rice abusing players during practice sessions. In the aftermath Rutgers hired Julie Hermann who, herself, was accused of verbally abusing players when she was a volleyball coach at Tennessee. Not a great look for Rutgers.[Photo via USA Today Sports]

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