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Bad Weekend at Rutgers

Johnathan Aiken #26 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights carries the American flag out as he leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against the Cincinnati
Johnathan Aiken #26 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights carries the American flag out as he leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against the Cincinnati (Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Johnathan Aiken #26 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights carries the American flag out as he leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against the Cincinnati Bearcats
Johnathan Aiken #26 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights carries the American flag out as he leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against the Cincinnati Bearcats (Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

A bad week at Rutgers University ended with another 2014 football recruit decommitting and saying they will look at other options. 

Head coach Kyle Flood of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Head coach Kyle Flood of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Four-star Michigan prep quarterback Tyler Wiegars on Sunday confirmed that seven months after making a verbal commitment to Rutgers he will open up his recruiting although he did not rule out the Scarlet Knights as his eventual choice.  He is the sixth member of what once looked like an outstanding recruiting class to do so and the fourth in just the last couple of weeks and if that’s not enough Rutgers finds itself with at the very least another black eye.

On the field after a 4-1 start things are not going well for the Scarlet Knights, who have dropped three of their last four games.  Three weeks ago on Homecoming they were embarrassed by Houston 49-14 and this past Saturday (also at home) they were blown out by Cincinnati 52-17.  Those types of performances can make recruits have second thoughts but it’s the “S” word that is raising eyebrows and doubts once again.

After dealing with the carnage over the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice last spring there could be another scandal in the making.  This one centers around Jevon Tyree who left the football program earlier this month and has accused assistant coach Dave Cohen of bullying him.  The original incident between player and coach took place last spring and was something that the athletic department was well aware of as head coach Kyle Flood disciplined Cohen for using abusive language.

However that is not the end of the story and while details remain a bit sketchy the latest issue for Rutgers now centers on who is lying: Tyree’s family or athletic director Julie Hermann.

Hermann, whose credibility and memory have already been questioned several times in the past, says she has spoken with Tyree’s parents about the incident on at least two occasions.  Guess what: the family insists they have never talked to her.

Julie Hermann talks to reporters at Rutgers
Julie Hermann talks to reporters at Rutgers (Twitter)

Rutgers is an outstanding school and the football program should be applauded for the academic success and integrity they have achieved in recent years.  However it’s also fair to question Coach Flood’s handling of the Tyree affair, especially in light of what took place in the basketball program and all the attention paid to bullying in and out of sports these days.

Same for Hermann, who’s brief tenure has been rocky to say the least.  One thing is for sure: they could use a good public relations campaign on the banks of the old Raritan.

 

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