Rutgers reinstated men’s lacrosse coach Brian Brecht on Tuesday, almost a month after having suspended him with pay over allegations of verbal abuse.
While the university investigation found that the former Loyola University assistant did use inappropriate language and exhibited unprofessional behavior on occasion, the instances were infrequent and not directed at individual players. Accordingly the university found no criminal or university policy violations.
“I regret my behavior and am determined to set a better example in the future,” said Brecht, who missed the last two games of the season. “I’m glad to be reinstated to the program and for the opportunity to work with these fine young men.”
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A source told Inside Lacrosse that three different investigations found no instances of wrongdoing by Brecht: a police investigation didn't uncover any criminal activity, and two different groups (one internal and one external) also found no issues with Brecht's conduct toward his team.
Players rallied in support of Brecht after the suspension was announced April 19. At a meeting with school President Robert Barchi, a large group of players showed up, presenting Barchi with a petition of nearly 1,000 signatures. The team also affixed "BB" stickers to their helmets in support of the coach.
Brecht's suspension was issued a little more than two weeks after the well-publicized firing of men's basketball coach Mike Rice; a video surfaced of Rice making homophobic slurs and throwing basketballs at his players during practice. Amid the ensuing scandal, athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned.
Brecht worked with the Greyhounds from 2001 to 2004, serving as the offensive coordinator and working with the team's extra-man offense as well as with recruiting and scouting. He left in 2004 to become the head coach at Siena for the next seven seasons, being named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Inside Lacrosse contributed.