Rutgers coach Kyle Flood suspended for 3 games, fined $50,000
Rutgers football will be without Kyle Flood for the next three games, and the Scarlet Knights head coach also was fined $50,000.
Flood has been under investigation for contacting a faculty member on behalf of a player whose eligibility was in question.
"This suspension is the result of the very detailed extensive investigation that we carried out over the past several weeks regarding the allegations that the football coach had an inappropriate contact with a faculty member who was the instructor of one of our football players, a contact that is in violation of the university policy,” university president Richard Barchi told NJ.com on Wednesday afternoon.
Contacting faculty members is against university policy and would thus be a violation of Flood’s contract. The coach issued a statement Aug. 25 in which he did not address the particular accusation but said correspondence with a professor regarding a student-athlete "in support of whatever decision that faculty member made" or "to inquire as to whether or not there would be an opportunity to earn a better grade" was "not unusual at Rutgers."
The Scarlet Knights travel to Penn State this Saturday then play host to Kansas on Sept. 26 and No. 4 Michigan State on Oct. 10.
Athletics director Julie Hermann said Rutgers associate head coach Norries Wilson would lead the team on game days in Flood’s absence.
"I know Coach Flood understands the severity of his transgressions and I am fully supportive of President Barchi’s decision to impose a suspension and a significant fine," Hermann said.
Shortly after news of the suspension broke, the school released a report detailing findings of the investigation. It concluded Flood contacted a faculty member multiple times — "circumventing the responsibilities of Academic Support" — and did violate the university’s policy in that regard.
Flood released a statement through the university later Wednesday afternoon:
"Earlier today, I met with President Barchi in his office and he informed me of my three-game suspension and the imposed fine.
"At Rutgers, we hold our student-athletes to high academic standards befitting a great university. We adhere to a higher standard, one that I am responsible to be aware of. I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions. I care deeply about my student-athlete’s academic performance. As the head coach, when I recruit players, my responsibility to them and their families is to do all I can to make sure they leave Rutgers with a degree and are prepared for a successful life off the football field. I am proud that our program has ranked in the top 10% of the APR 8 years in a row. That success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s due to our top-to-bottom program culture emphasizing the importance of academic success, and it’s why we have a robust academic support staff that is second to none. I will always instill in my players that they have a responsibility to themselves, their families, our University and its alumni to perform well in the classroom, and I will never stop caring about their academic performance.
"Moving forward, I will make sure I adhere to all University policies and I will place an even greater emphasis with our staff on knowing, understanding and following every University, Big Ten and NCAA rule.
"In deference to our student athletes, coaches, and staff moving forward, I will not provide further comment at this time."