Rutgers Women’s Swim Coach, Accused of Bullying Team, Resigns
NEW BRUNSWICK — The coach of the Rutgers University women's swimming and diving team left the team after allegations about the coach's behavior were brought to the school's attention.
In a statement, Rutgers University said two members of the team reported concerns about coach Petra Martin to "appropriate university personnel" including its president, Robert Barchi, which were investigated by the school.
"These investigations did not reveal any violation of university policy," the statement said.
Martin and Director of Athletics Patrick Hobbs "mutually agreed that it was in the best interest of the program for the coach to resign," according to the statement."
Diving coach Fredrick Woodruff has been named the team's interim head coach.
The school also said that the dismissal of a member of the team for repeated violations of team rules "in and out of the pool" was found to be appropriate and unrelated to the investigation.
NJ.com cited accounts from parents and former athletes saying Petra had "shamed athletes over their weight, used abusive language during training sessions and demanded they stop using medication prescribed by their doctors for anxiety and other issues."
Parent Michael Perrotti told the news site that Martin used "Mike Rice tactics" on the team to verbally abuse members, which turned his daughter off to swimming. He accused Rutgers of ignoring calls made to a hotline established after the Rice situation
Rice is the former men's basketball coach caught on video in 2012 using what he later called "in your face" coaching methods, leading to his firing and a major shakeup of the school's athletic program.
A video that aired on ESPN showed Rice using racial and sexual slurs against his players and hurling basketballs at players.
The swim team is scheduled to host the annual Frank Elm Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Rutgers Aquatics Center.
According to Martin's bio, she came to Rutgers in 2015 after five years at Bowling Green State University, and was a former member of the Czech National Team.