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Multiple former Rutgers softball players and their parents have accused coach Kristen Butler and her husband, Marcus Smith, who serves as a volunteer assistant coach, of running the program through fear, intimidation and abuse, according to a lengthy report from NJ Advanced Media.
Multiple players told NJ.com that they “lived in constant fear of being banished” from the program or losing scholarships, and that they endured dangerous conditioning sessions while dealing with “wide-ranging physical and emotional abuse” — including being shamed for being “overweight.”
Butler, who was hired in June 2018 after a stint at Toledo and brought her husband with her, have seen 10 players leave the program within their first year — by far the highest turnover rate among all sports at the Big Ten university. The players and their parents also accused Rutgers officials, including athletic director Patrick Hobbs, of failing to address their multiple complaints.