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Saturday
Nov162013

Rutgers University Facing New Claims of Abuse in Sports Program

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The family of a Rutgers University football player is pressuring the college to take disciplinary action against the team's coach amid fresh claims of bullying and verbal abuse at the school.

Freshman cornerback Jevon Tyree has quit the Scarlett Knights football team after he claims that defensive coordinator Dave Cohen "called him emasculating names and threatened to head butt him during a study hall session."

Tyree, who is the cousin of Super Bowl 42 hero David Tyree, a former New York Giant, gave details of the alleged abuse to The Star Ledger, which he says took place in April -- the same month Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice was fired and the school's athletic director resigned for a separate bullying incident.

In his first interview since his resignation, Rice told our ABC News' Robin Roberts that he regrets the now infamous incident, saying "there were some actions that were certainly, that were bullying."

Tyree's family believes that Coach Cohen deserves the same discipline as Rice. His father Mark Tyree told the Star Ledger that the abuse was so harsh he feels that permanent action may be merited.

"I really think disciplinary action should happen, almost to the point where he should get fired … that's how bad it is, especially for the damage he's done to Jevon," he said.

In a statement, Rutgers said the incident had been addressed immediately in April, and that in September the Tyree's agreed they were satisfied. Jevon Tyree left the program on Nov. 6.

But Mark Tyree said that the university's claim that he spoke with athletic director Julie Hermann twice in relation to the family's concerns is "insane."

"We didn't even want this to escalate to the athletic director," Mark Tyree told The Ledger. "We were trying to keep this in-house, that we could make it so it wasn't a big deal. I wasn't trying to go to the [university] president and the NCAA. I was like, 'Hey, let's try to resolve this.' "

The reason Tyree ended up leaving the program was because he said he feels that even recently he's been left out of team meetings, and has been passed over for playing time as well.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio