When it rains, it pours, and a hailstorm has steadily come down on the Rutgers University athletic program over the past few weeks.
The latest black mark: Rutgers has suspended lacrosse coach Brian Brecht amid allegations of verbal abuse toward his players, as reported by Steve Eder of the New York Times on Friday afternoon.
Rutgers president Robert Barchi announced the news on Friday afternoon and released the following statement about the university's role in curbing allegations like this, with Brecht and in the future (h/t ESPN):
While I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, let me reiterate that there is no place at Rutgers for words or actions that are inconsistent with the values of the university. Our student-athletes, as all members of the Rutgers community, should know that our university is committed to promoting an atmosphere of respect and dignity. As I stressed earlier, we will be looking closely at all intercollegiate athletics at Rutgers going forward. If we find problems, we will address them.
Brecht's lawyer, Kevin A. Buchan, emailed a statement in defense of his client (via Eder):
Coach Brecht has an exemplary professional record. He has nothing to hide and will be 100 percent cooperative with the university investigation. He looks forward to clearing his name and getting back to coaching.
Brecht, in his second year with Rutgers, will be suspended with pay as university police officials investigate these claims, as reported by Tony Aiello of CBS New York:
Ongoing review of coaching behavior at Rutgers leads to suspension of lax coach Brian Brecht, w/pay.Few details of alleged verbal abuse.— Tony Aiello (@TonyAielloNY) April 19, 2013
The suspension comes just a few weeks after Rutgers parted ways with men's basketball coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti, the latter of whom received a $1.2 million kick and an iPad as part of his reported settlement of dismissal (h/t USA Today).
Rutgers hired Brecht, previously the head coach of Siena College and a New York native, in 2011.
He and the Scarlet Knights have a 2-11 record (0-5 in Big East play) so far this season and have lost 10 straight heading into the team's next game against Duke.