Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood is under investigation from the university for a possible NCAA rules violation regarding an alleged tampering of the eligibility process for one of the Scarlet Knights' players, according to a report from NJ.com on Tuesday.
From the site:
Rutgershead coach Kyle Flood could face a suspension or firing because of impermissible contact with a university faculty member regarding the status of one of his players, two people with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.
The university's office of general counsel is investigating the severity of the alleged violation, which, the sources said, is focused on an email Flood allegedly sent from a personal account to a faculty member at the university's Mason Gross School of Arts regarding the status of Nadir Barnwell. The junior cornerback is reportedly in danger of being deemed academically ineligible.
The investigation is expected to be resolved "quickly."
Rutgers' policy prohibits Flood from "any and all" contact with staff members, instead deferring all communication to members of the academic support staff. Flood's contract states he could face anything from a public reprimand to termination for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Keith Sargeant of NJ.com reports Flood will be judged not only for the content of the alleged email, but the intent behind it. "Is it inappropriate to say, 'Hey, what's Nadir Barnwell's status?' Maybe, but is it impermissible? I don't know that,'' a source told Sargeant. "Is there a gray area in this? It may be (justified as), 'It's stupid but it's understandable.' ''
Flood enters his fourth season as head coach with a 23-16 mark at Rutgers. He led the Scarlet Knights to an 8-5 mark in the program's debut season in the Big Ten.
Update:Flood has offered a response to NJ.com:
“Let me start by saying I’m disappointed at the tone of the article that (associate athletic director for media relations/football) Hasim (Phillips) showed me this morning. I’ve been the head coach now, this is going into my fourth season, and I’ve had a lot of interaction with the teachers on our campus. I think that that article not only insults my integrity, but insults the integrity of our faculty. I’ve come to realize that our faculty here at Rutgers is beyond reproach and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them.
“Our faculty are part of our program. Just as recently as the other day, we had two faculty members at our practice. Now, any correspondence that I had with a professor in regard to a student-athlete would really be of this nature: One, to be in support of whatever decision that faculty member made, and two, to inquire as to whether or not there would be an opportunity to earn a better grade. Now, this practice is not unusual at Rutgers. Many students all over campus receive what are called ‘T grades’ doing work outside of when the class ends that semester to earn a better grade.”