Rutgers University suspended head football coach Kyle Flood for three games for contacting a faculty member about an academically-questionable defensive back and helping that player with grammar and editing on a paper.
The university forbids such contacts between coaches and professors, and warned Flood about such interaction.
“As a member of the faculty and as a former Provost myself, I know that Coach Flood’s actions in communicating with the faculty member crossed a line that all faculty hold dear,” Rutgers President Robert Barachi explained in a statement. “Our faculty must have complete independence in executing their duties and there is a reason why we prohibit athletics coaching staff from discussing the academic standing of students with faculty. We have policies in place to protect academic integrity and to ensure that any faculty member, whether tenured or untenured, whether full-time or part-time, is free of intimidation and interference by outside parties.”
The suspension follows Flood kicking a half dozen players off his team, arrests of football players on home invasion charges, and accusations that a star wide receiver slammed a former girlfriend to the concrete this past weekend.
“When you make a decision that you are going to spend your life—and I’ve spent the last 22 years doing this—working with young people, young men, starting out in high school and now in college, you know that there’s going to be mistakes,” Flood said at a Monday press conference. “It’s no different than raising your own children.”
As to his own transgressions on behalf of one of those young men, Coach Flood released a statement on Wednesday, which read in part:
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.
Rutgers lost a close game to Washington State at home this past weekend to drop to 1-1. They take on 1-1 Penn State, which dropped a disappointment on their fans with a loss to Temple, on the road this weekend without Kyle Flood.