Rutgers University’s embattled football coach, Kyle J. Flood, will be suspended three games and fined $50,000, the university’s president, Robert L. Barchi, announced on Wednesday.
The basis for that punishment? The results of a long-awaited investigative report into Mr. Flood’s contact with a professor about a player’s academic standing. So stupefying is much of the report that it might as well bear the subtitle “All the Impulses a College Coach Might Have but Should Never Act On.”
Here are three of the report’s most outrageous findings:
1. Kyle Flood tried to hide his efforts from the get-go.
When Mr. Flood found out that Nadir Barnwell, a top cornerback, would be ineligible to play because of a bad grade, he and an academic adviser agreed it was a “lousy situation.” So he decided to take matters into his own hands. Here’s the email he sent, from a personal account, to the professor:
That wasn’t the last time Mr. Flood tried to cover his tracks. When the professor (who the university’s faculty union has said is likely to be an adjunct) agreed to meet with him outside a library to talk about the grade, Mr. Flood “purposely didn’t wear any Rutgers’ apparel or insignia so he wouldn’t be recognized in public.”
While the professor said Mr. Flood didn’t do anything to intimidate her into accepting the offer of having Mr. Barnwell do extra work for a new grade, she “felt unable to resist the implied pressure from someone like Coach Flood,” and agreed to it.
2. Kyle Flood didn’t really know the rules, or he didn’t care.
Just read a recounting of his conversation with an academic adviser:
If you’re keeping track at home, that’s three times Mr. Flood tried to conceal his grade-changing efforts. (For the record, he approached “Advisor #1″ later about the grade change, and the adviser reiterated that he or she “didn’t want any part of this.”)
3. Some of Nadir Barnwell’s words were really Kyle Flood’s.
After the professor agreed to the assignment, Mr. Flood tried to make sure it would go off without a hitch, going so far as to edit Mr. Barnwell’s thank-you note to the professor for agreeing to the arrangement.
But he wasn’t done. Mr. Flood also edited the very work he had arranged for Mr. Barnwell to complete, suggesting a few “minor grammar and punctuation changes,” according to the report. The student also added a few sentences — about the former NFL player Tony Dorsett, apparently — and attributed them to Mr. Flood. (According to Rutgers, this editing “did not constitute academic misconduct.”)
In the end, ostensibly after reading the paper, the professor decided not to change Mr. Barnwell’s grade.
Elsewhere at Rutgers …
In a letter announcing the results of the report and the suspension, Mr. Barchi wrote, “I believe that the discipline is severe and justified for his failure to follow policy. 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.”
In a statement, Mr. Flood said he took full responsibility for his actions. “Moving forward,” he added, “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.”
In recent years, Rutgers’s athletic department has been one of the more scandal-ridden around. Most notable was the documented physical abuse of basketball players by the head coach at the time, Mike Rice Jr., and a subsequent finding that a culture of insularityin the department initially resulted in light sanctions for the coach.
To make matters worse, Mr. Barnwell and five other players are facing criminal charges for their roles in a series of alleged home invasions and assaults.
Mr. Flood was set to make $1.25 million this year, The Star-Ledger reports.