Blogs and Commentary

posted 05.14.2013 at 1.47 p.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Rutgers Reinstates Men's Coach Brian Brecht

updated 05.14.2013 at 2.52 p.m.

Rutgers University announced on Tuesday that men's lacrosse coach Brian Brecht, who had been suspended with pay pending an investigation into allegations of verbal abuse, has been reinstated effective immediately.

The school said an investigation of Brecht by the university found that though Brecht used "inappropriate language and exhibited unprofessional behavior on occasion, the instances were infrequent and not directed at individual players."

The investigation did not show criminal behavior or violations of university policy, Rutgers said.

"We are satisfied with the resolution regarding the situation," acting athletic director Carl Kirschner said.

Brecht was also quoted in the announcement.

"I regret my behavior and am determined to set a better example in the future," Brecht said. "I'm glad to be reinstated to the program and for the opportunity to work with these fine young men."

Players, parents and alumni had rallied in support of Brecht in the wake of his suspension, which came on April 19 with two weeks left in the regular season. 

Brecht's lawyer, Kevin A. Buchan, also released a statement Tuesday: "Coach Brecht is gratified by all the support he received from friends, family, recruits and the lacrosse community — especially his Rutgers team. He is pleased that the University has chosen to reinstate him and looks forward to resuming his coaching duties and will work even harder to establish a winning culture at Rutgers."

The suspension made national news, if only because Rutgers was weeks removed from an embarrassing situation involving former men's basketball coach Mike Rice. Rice was fired after video of him shouting obscenities and hitting and kicking basketballs at players during practice was made public. Athletic director Tim Pernetti also resigned two days after Rice was fired.

In the aftermath, Rutgers said it would review the practices of every sport, and university president Robert Barchi announced the suspension of Brecht less than a month ago, pending investigation, without revealing details.

Barchi has come under fire recently after it was revealed that Eddie Jordan, whom Barchi hired as the new men's basketball coach, never graduated from Rutgers despite the school announcing as much when Jordan was hired to replace Rice.

Rutgers assistant Byron Collins, a former head coach at Division III Stevens, led the Scarlet Knights in Brecht's absence. Rutgers finished this season 2-13.