Rutgers Suspends Men's Lacrosse Coach Over Verbal Abuse Allegations

The school said the coach would be suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation

Friday, Apr 19, 2013  |  Updated 1:51 PM EDT
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Tim Pernetti: "I'll Always Want What's Best for Rutgers"

AP

University President Robert Barchi vowed earlier this month that Rutgers would review all sports practice video to see if any coach engaged in inappropriate behavior.

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The head coach of the men's lacrosse team at Rutgers has been suspended over allegations of verbal abuse, the university said. 

Rutgers said the coach would be suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation to be conducted by the Rutgers University Police Department.    

The suspension comes two weeks after Rutgers fired men's basketball head coach Mike Rice after video surfaced showing him shoving and throwing balls at players during practices while using gay slurs.

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Tim Pernetti: "I'll Always Want What's Best for Rutgers"

Rutgers athletics director Tim Pernetti told reporters after his resignation Friday, "I always have and I always will, no matter what, want what's best for Rutgers." His wife Danielle told NBC 4 New York earlier Pernetti was "the best athletic director they could ever have."
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Rutgers' athletics director, Tim Pernetti, who fined Rice and ordered he take anger management classes after seeing the video months earlier, was forced to step down in the wake of the controversy that followed. 

Escalating backlash also prompted calls for the resignation of Rutgers President Robert Barchi, who had known about the Rice videos since November but said he never watched them. At the time, he said, he supported Pernetti's disciplinary choices, but after seeing the videos recently, said they represented a pervasive culture of abuse and that Rice should have been fired immediately.

Barchi vowed earlier this month that Rutgers would review all sports practice video to see if any coach engaged in inappropriate behavior.

In announcing the lacrosse coach's suspension Friday, Barchi said in a statement that words or actions inconsistent with university values would not be tolerated. 

“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,“ Barchi said. “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.”

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