Rutgers University has hired a law firm to investigate bullying allegations against a former football player against an assistant coach.

John Farmer Jr. (Rutgers)

University lawyer John Farmer Jr. had announced last week that he would conduct a review following a meeting between the parents of Javon Tyree, who claims he was verbally bullied and threatened by defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, and Athletic Director Julie Hermann. Farmer was named by the university to “review the incident and assess all relevant facts and any subsequent actions taken by the university’s athletics department.”

But Farmer has since recused himself from the case. University spokesman Pete McDonough tells the Star-Ledger that Farmer stepped down because he could be called as a witness in the case. He did not detail his involvement, though.

McDonough told the newspaper the Saiber law of Newark and Florham Park would handle the investigation instead.

When Hermann came under fire over bullying allegations during her time at the University of Tennessee after being named Athletic Director following Tim Pernetti, Farmer wrote a piece for the Star-Ledger in her defense.

Tyree quit the team on Nov. 6.After the bullying allegations were posted on, Rutgers issued a statement that Herman and head coach Kyle Flood has resolved the issue following a meeting with his parents. They denied ever meeting with Herman.

Tyree remains on scholarship for this school year.


The Associated Press contributed to this report