Rutgers Coach Brecht Suspended Amid 'Verbal Abuse' Allegations
Rutgers second-year men's lacrosse coach Brian Brecht has been suspended by the school as it investigates allegations of verbal abuse, according to a statement released by the university on Friday.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi said in the statement that Brecht, who was hired in June 2011 to replace Jim Stagnitta, will continue to be paid while the university investigates the allegations, specifics of which were not revealed.
"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," Barchi said in the statement. "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."
The news comes in the wake of the firing of Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice, who was let go when video of him shouting obscenities and hitting and kicking players at practice was made public. After that, Rutgers said it would review the practices of every sport.
Brecht, before arriving at Rutgers, spent seven seasons as Siena head coach. He was hired by former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti, who resigned amid the furor surrounding the Rice tapes.
The Scarlet Knights, currently with 2-11 overall record and 0-5 mark in the Big East, host No. 6 Duke at 7 p.m. Saturday in New Jersey. The Blue Devils are coached by Rutgers alum John Danowski.
Brecht was quoted talking about preparations for the Duke game as recently as a story published Thursday by the Duke Chronicle, the school's student newspaper.
"I'm very proud and happy with our guys' performance even if our record isn't impressive," Brecht said. "They go out and play hard every day. We're a better team than we were last month."