Rutgers swimming and diving coach Petra Martin has departed her position after disturbing details emerged from an investigation by NJ Advanced Media into the coach’s treatment of athletes.
The numerous player abuses reported include dangerous training practices, body-shaming athletes and demands that athletes stop taking doctor-prescribed medications for anxiety and other issues.
The report paints a dark picture of what the swimming culture was like under Martin, with one parent comparing the tactics used to the men’s basketball player abuse scandal under Mike Rice that rocked the university in 2013.
“(Swimmers) were on the verge of blacking out; people were peeing themselves because they had no oxygen left. That was, I guess, [Martin’s] way of showing us who’s boss. I lost the love of this sport within a month of having her as a coach.”
Former Rutgers swimmer Barbra Brottman
Rice was fired in 2013 when video emerged of the coach using homophobic slurs and throwing basketballs at players during practices. Athletic director Tim Pernetti was fired as well and replaced by Julie Hermann, who was ousted in 2015 over player abuse accusations from her time as volleyball coach at Tennessee. Hermann hired Martin months before her own departure.