The public black eye that started a month-long nightmare for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football program has come to an end. Football head coach Kyle Flood has been found to have indeed made inappropriate contact with a member of the faculty at Rutgers on behalf of one of his players, Nadir Barnwell.
Rutgers president, Robert Barchi, released a letter explaining his reasoning behind the suspension of Flood.
Here are the main points that Barchi sited while justifying his suspension of Flood:
- 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. The responsibility for such contact strictly rests with our athletics academic advisors under the purview of the Office of the New Brunswick Chancellor. Coach Flood used his personal email to contact the faculty member and had an in-person meeting with the faculty member regarding the academic standing of a member of the football team. The multiple email contacts came both before and after the meeting, which occurred at an off-campus location.
- A member of the athletics academic advising staff reported that she reminded Coach Flood, after he sent the initial email but before he had the in-person meeting with the faculty member, that he is not to have contact with any faculty member regarding a student’s academic standing. Coach Flood nevertheless moved forward with the previously scheduled meeting with the faculty member.
- After meeting with Coach Flood, the faculty member agreed to review an additional paper as partial satisfaction for the requirements of a course the student had already completed. The paper was submitted to the faculty member but ultimately was not graded and the academic status of the student and his final course grade remained unchanged.
- Coach Flood and the student both have acknowledged that Coach Flood provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions to the submitted paper. The Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance consulted with senior campus academic officials, including the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor, Rutgers-New Brunswick, who both agreed, after reviewing the paper before and after the edits, that the assistance provided by Coach Flood was in line with standard student support offered on campus by student learning centers and did not constitute academic misconduct.
Barchi also released the letter along with the full report generated during the investigation. You can read the full report here.
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