Julie Hermann's excuse didn't sit well with the Tyree family, but they accepted it. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
After Jevon Tyree quit the Rutgers football team amid bullying allegations, the school's athletic director, Julie Hermann, insisted she spoke with Tyree's father, Mark, on the phone. But Mark Tyree denied the conversation.
Now, NJ.com has learned, Rutgers has offered up another defense — a Mark Tyree imposter.
In a meeting with the Tyree family on Wednesday, Hermann told the Tyrees she spoke to someone on the phone about Jevon, but now acknowledges it wasn't Mark. And the Tyree family thinks her story is plausible — sort of.
"[Hermann] now believes she had never spoken to the father," said Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church who brokered the meeting. "And the father and mother [believe] it is in the realm of possibility someone represented himself as the father.”
However, Soaries told mycentraljersey.com the family found the story "incredulous" and accepted it in order to move on.
"The closest we could get to what I would call belief was their accepting my proposal that they give her the benefit of the doubt that what she has asserted is conceivable," Soaries said.
With that aspect of the saga closed, attention will now be paid to John Farmer Jr., the university's general counsel and a former state attorney general, who will conduct an investigation into Jevon Tyree's allegations that he was bullied by defensive coordinator Dave Cohen.
Tyree's scholarship is being honored through the end of the school year.