Rutgers coach Kyle Flood responds to report of impermissible email – CBSSports.com

Kyle Flood could be in trouble over an email sent to a Rutgers faculty member. (USATSI)
Kyle Flood could be in trouble over an email sent to a Rutgers faculty member. (USATSI)

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: Kyle Flood offered a statement on the report at practice this afternoon, via the Asbury Park Press.

“Let me start by saying I’m disappointed at the tone of the article that (media relations officer) Hasim (Phillips) showed me this morning,” Flood told reporters. “I’ve been the head coach now this is going into my fourth season and I’ve had a lot of interaction with the teachers on our campus.

“I think that that article not only insults my integrity, but it insults the integrity of our faculty. I’ve come to realize that our faculty here at Rutgers is beyond reproach and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. Our faculty are a part of our program. Just as recently as the other day, we had two faculty members at our practice.”

“Any correspondence that I had with a professor in regards to a student-athlete would really be of this nature. 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. This practice is not unusual at Rutgers. Many students all over campus receive what are called ‘t grades” — doing work outside of when the class ends that semester to earn a better grade.”

Original story:

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood is being investigated by the school after sending an email to a faculty member regarding one of his players, according to NJ.com.

The report states that Flood sent an email from his personal email account to a faculty member at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of Arts regarding the status of cornerback Nadir Barnwell, who is reportedly close to being determined academically ineligible. The content of the email is unknown at this time.

The university is trying to determine the severity of the violation and what, if any, punishment Flood should face, which will have to do with the content of the email in question.

If Flood is found to have failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance by attempting to provide an impermissible benefit to a student-athlete in his program, possible discipline includes a public reprimand, suspension or termination from his contract, a top athletics official familiar with the situation told NJ Advance Media.

While it is unclear if Flood has violated any Big Ten or NCAA rules, the report notes that the university has a policy prohibiting coaches from contacting instructors directly. All communication with a student-athlete’s instructor must come from an academic support member.

A person familiar with the Rutgers situation told NJ Advance Media the investigation is focused on not only the contents of the alleged email, but the intent if Flood is found to have sent the written correspondence to Barnwell’s professor.

“Is it inappropriate to say, ‘Hey, what’s Nadir Barnwell’s status?’ Maybe, but is it impermissible? I don’t know that,” one of the top university officials involved in the investigation said. “Is there a gray area in this? It may be (justified as), ‘It’s stupid but it’s understandable.’ ”

In his three seasons at Rutgers, Flood has led the Scarlet Knights to a 23-16 record and a bowl game each season.

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