Rutgers investigating communication between Flood, faculty

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Rutgers is investigating whether football coach Kyle Flood violated school or NCAA rules by contacting a faculty member about the academic status of a player. first reported Tuesday that Rutgers University's office of general counsel is investigating the severity of the alleged violation. The university confirmed its office of ethics had the matter brought to its attention about a week ago and that it has initiated an investigation.

''Nobody told me that there is an investigation at this point, but I'll cooperate with whatever process the university has,'' Flood said after practice Tuesday.

Earlier in the day Flood said the tone of the story, which cited unidentified sources, was disappointing.

''I think that that article not only insults my integrity but it insults the integrity of our faculty,'' he said.

Flood could be in violation of NCAA rules regarding extra benefits and also university rules by communicating with faculty member about a players' course work. If Flood was found to have violated rules regarding extra benefits he could face a possible NCAA suspension or dismissal by Rutgers.

''It's my understanding that there is a separation of church and state between coaches and professors. Is it typical to inquire what a player can do to improve a grade?'' Flood said after practice. ''Let me just say this, again without getting in the way of the university process: I have a lot of communication with teachers. I teach classes on campus. I was a member of a faculty for four years. So to me, I don't know why you would want to have a separation of church and state. We're all a part of the university. We all want the same things for our student-athletes.''

Rutgers has been awaiting word on the academic eligibility of cornerback Nadir Barnwell.

''Nadir's eligible for practice right now,'' Flood said.

Asked if would release email communication regarding Barnwell in question, Flood said, ''What I have to do is go through the university process first before I can make any decisions on any of that stuff.''

Flood is entering his fourth season as coach of the Scarlet Knights and is 23-16 with three bowl appearances.


Russo reported from New York.