Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood, Sept. 5, 2015. (AP/Mel Evans)
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has suspended Kyle Flood, the head football coach at New Brunswick, for three consecutive games and fined him $50,000 for having contact with a faculty member over a player's status. In a letter to the Rutgers community, Barchi wrote that "Coach Flood knew or should have known of well-established University policies prohibiting coach-initiated contact between coaches and members of the faculty regarding a student-athlete’s academic standing."
"I believe that the discipline is severe and justified for his failure to follow policy," Barchi wrote. "I met with Coach Flood this afternoon and informed him of the suspension and the fine and he has accepted responsibility for his actions and my discipline."
An investigative report found that Flood emailed a faculty member to arrange a meeting about a player's paper, Barchi said. Flood met with the faculty member off campus and exchanged emails after the meeting. Flood also "provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions for the young man's paper, Barchi said. But ultimately, that paper was not graded and the student's grade stayed the same.
In a statement, Flood said he takes "full responsibility" and accepts the "consequences" of his actions.
"I care deeply about my student-athlete's academic performance," he said in the statement. "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."