Rutgers coach Kyle Flood defied the orders of university staff in contacting a professor regarding a player's academic status, according to a report from NJ.com.
Tuesday, it was revealed Flood was being investigated by the university's office of ethics and compliance for allegedly contacting the faculty member. Wednesday's report indicates Flood did so against the wishes of Rutgers academic support staff, sending an email from a private account inquiring about the status of cornerback Nadir Barnwell, who has been facing eligibility questions since May.
“It's about Kyle trying to circumvent the process and trying to get the kid eligible,” an unnamed Rutgers official told NJ Advance Media, adding that Flood was told there was nothing that could be done on Barnwell's behalf.
The officials said that Barnwell didn't accumulate the required number of credits in last year's fall and spring semesters and was deemed ineligible prior to this summer. They added that academic support staff had been in touch with the professor on Barnwell's behalf to see if he could make up the work, and that Barnwell himself had emailed the professor in hopes of pleading his case and improving his grade.
Depending on the investigation's findings, Flood could reportedly face suspension or be fired. He could be in violation of a Rutgers policy prohibiting coach-initiated verbal or written contact with a faculty member regarding a student-athlete, a task that falls on the department's academic support staff.
“Any correspondence that I had with a professor in regard to a student-athlete would really be of this nature,” Flood said last week: “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.”
Flood said Tuesday that he expected to coach the team's season opener against Norfolk State Saturday.
- Jeremy Woo