PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said Wednesday that when he was contacted by university officials about communicating with a faculty member regarding the academic status of a player, he didn’t know he was being investigated for possibly violating school or NCAA rules.
Flood reversed course after being asked a day earlier about whether university officials had contacted him about their investigation.
“To clarify my statement yesterday, I was contacted by the university, but I was unaware what the contact was for, so that’s why I had to answer the question the way I did,” Flood said. “Now I’m aware of what the contact is for. So yes, I was contacted by the university.”
Rutgers’ office of ethics raised the issue about one week ago and initiated an investigation, university officials said Tuesday. The school’s office of general counsel is investigating the severity of the alleged violation.
“Obviously, we are concerned to maintain the firewall that protects instructors from any type of influence,” Rutgers faculty union president David Hughes told NJ.com. “It would be extremely helpful if President (Robert) Barchi would make a statement. We would like him to reaffirm the autonomy of the faculty.”
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.
Flood said he is confident that the matter would be resolved shortly.
Flood said he was pleased with his team’s focus Wednesday despite the investigation and the suspension of five players.
“You can usually tell when you get to the morning meeting if everyone is locked in or not,” Flood said. “You can tell they were locked in this morning and I’m excited about how they ran around today.”
Five players, including star receiver Leonte Carroo and quarterback Chris Laviano, were suspended for the first half of the season opener Sept. 5 against Norfolk State for violating curfew.
Linebacker Quentin Gause said the team will just continue to stay focused on its goals at hand.
“There’s outside distractions that I feel that shouldn’t be there, but those distractions — we’re going to continue doing what we do as a team,” he said. “Continue practicing hard, continue watching film and get ready for Norfolk State.”
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