Rutgers suspends lacrosse coach

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Rutgers University has suspended its head men's lacrosse coach as it investigates allegations of verbal abuse.

The university announced the suspension on Friday, saying that Brian Brecht will continue to be paid.

"While I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, let me reiterate that there is no place at Rutgers for words or actions that are inconsistent with the values of the university. 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," Rutgers president Robert 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."

Rutgers, under the direction of Barchi and Interim athletic director Carl Kirschner, has been reviewing videos of practices in all sports since men's basketball coach Mike Rice was fired this month after a video was made public that showed him kicking players, throwing balls at them and yelling anti-gay slurs.

The university also said Friday that it has formed a search committee for a new athletic director to replace Tim Pernetti. He resigned amid the scandal.

The Rutgers lacrosse team competes in the Big East Conference and is struggling this season. The Scarlet Knights are 2-11 overall and 0-5 in the league. Brecht's team has lost 10 consecutive games headed into Saturday's home game versus Duke.

Brecht, in his second season as coach at Rutgers, spent seven years as coach at Siena College, and was a three-time conference coach of the year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He was hired by Pernetti on June 16, 2011, after posting 57 victories with the Saints in his final five years there.

Brecht is a New York native who played at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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