Investigation finds former Rutgers coach didn't bully player

Dave Cohen was cleared of a bullying accusation. (USATSI)
Dave Cohen was cleared of a bullying accusation. (USATSI)

New Jersey law firm Saiber LLC issued its findings Tuesday from an investigation into former Rutgers defensive back Jevon Tyree's accusation that ex-Scarlet Knight defensive coordinator Dave Cohen and bullied and verbally abused him.

Per the Associated Press, the firm found that Cohen had used inappropriate language towards Tyree, but did not find evidence Tyree has been bullied or retaliated against. The report also ruled that head coach Kyle Flood and Rutgers had responded appropriately to the incident.

Tyree left the team in November, saying that Cohen had verbally abused him during an April study session and threatened to head-butt him. The exchange took place in front of an academic advisor, who reported it. Tyree claimed Cohen had subsequently cut his reps in practice, offered him no playing time despite a rash of injuries in the secondary, and excluded him from team meetings.

Saiber LLC found that Flood had reprimanded Cohen within hours of the incident and addressed the issue with his staff. Newly appointed Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann had also taken "appropriate action" upon learning of the incident in September 2013.

"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 Tuesday, per the AP. "It's reassuring to know that our systems are working."

Tyree's allegations came with the school still laboring under the shadow of the Mike Rice abuse scandal, in which the former Scarlet Knight men's basketball coach was fired after video surfaced of him throwing basketballs and hurling verbal abuse at his players.

Cohen was one of three assistants fired at the end of Rutgers' 6-7 season. He has since been hired on Dave Clawson's staff at Wake Forest as the Demon Deacons' defensive line coach.

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