PISCATAWAY - Rutgers University football coach Kyle Flood has been suspended for three games and fined $50,000 following an investigation by the university into rules violations.
Rutgers officials have been investigating Flood for the last several weeks over allegations that he violated the school's policies by contacting a faculty member via email about the academic standing of Nadir Barnwell, one of his players.
According to the investigation, Flood did send an email to the faculty member and also scheduled an in-person meeting. A member of the school's athletics academic advising staff reportedly contacted Flood and reminded him he was not allowed to speak with faculty members, but Flood went ahead with the in-person meeting anyway.
The investigation also found that Flood asked the faculty member to review an additional paper written by Barnwell and even provided his own minor edits to the paper. The paper was submitted to the faculty member but ultimately was not graded and Barnwell's grade remained unchanged, according to university officials.
In a statement, Rutgers President Robert Barchi says, "Based on what we know now, it is clear to me that Coach Flood had inappropriate communications with the faculty member in violation of an established policy."
The statement continues, "I believe that the discipline is severe and justified for his failure to follow policy."
President Barchi also says that the university has contacted the NCAA and will be working with them to determine if any of their bylaws have been violated.
Rutgers University Athletic Director Julie Hermann weighed in on the suspension. "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," she says in a statement.
Flood also released a statement to the media and says that he takes full responsibility and accepts the consequences of his actions. "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," says Flood.
Flood will be suspended for the games held on Sept. 19, Sept. 26 and Oct. 10. Assistant head coach Norries Wilson will coach the team during Flood's suspension.
The suspension comes as the team is already facing other disciplinary issues. Seven players, including Barnwell, have been arrested for a variety of crimes in the last few weeks. Six of the seven have been kicked off the team. The seventh, Leonte Carroo, is on indefinite suspension.