PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The season is already off to a bad start.
Rutgers has suspended star receiver Leonte Carroo and quarterback Chris Laviano, along with three other players, for the first half of its season opener against Norfolk State for a curfew violation. Coach Kyle Flood said Laviano, who was competing to be the starting quarterback, tried using a fake ID.
“I’m disappointed that five of our players broke curfew. I’m disappointed that Chris Laviano used a fake ID to go into an establishment that he shouldn’t be in,” Flood said. “Much like my own children, you still love them, you hold them accountable. There has to be consequences and then we move forward and we’ll be moving forward now.”
The suspension of Laviano means Hayden Rettig will start at quarterback for Rutgers in the season opener on Sept. 5 against Norfolk State. The two have been competing for the top job since the spring. Rettig is a sophomore transfer from LSU who sat out last season. It will be his first time playing in a game since high school.
“Being able to start against Norfolk State – it’s awesome,” Rettig said. “Just have to keep doing what I’m doing, make sure that I’m ready for Norfolk State.”
Flood declined to say whether Rettig would remain the starter after the season opener, and declined to say whether Rettig would have won the starting job regardless of Laviano’s suspension.
“I don’t think we want to live in a world of hypotheticals,” Flood said. “We’ve got a very specific situation that happened. You know the reaction to that situation and we’ll just go from there.”
Also suspended for the opener at home against an FCS opponent are punter Tim Gleeson, defensive back Ruhann Peele and linebacker Kevin Marquez.
Carroo is a senior and one of the top receivers in the Big Ten. He had 55 catches for 1,086 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
Saying it was a “dumb decision” and he got “exactly what he deserves,” Carroo is well aware that as a captain, he could have changed the whole situation.
“I had a chance to prevent things from happening and I allowed it to happen,” Carroo said. “So I take full responsibility with me being a captain and leader of this team.”
Peele’s suspension comes after he missed all of last season due to injury and a suspension. Peele was suspended after he was arrested on simple assault charges in Aug. of 2014. The charges were later dropped.
Flood dismissed cornerback Darian Dailey from Rutgers at the end of May after he was charged with robbery with a firearm.
Flood and Carroo said they think the players on the team are mostly responsible.
“I think we’re fine as far as team discipline,” Carroo said. “We have great leaders. I just made a dumb mistake. Guys on this team still look up to me and still hold me accountable as their captain, so I’m still going to go out there and do my best to make sure that this team is still disciplined and we’re still great as a team.”
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