PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers University has dismissed five players from its football team following their arrests earlier this week.
Coach Kyle Flood announced the dismissals about 10 minutes before the Scarlet Knights’ season opener against Norfolk State on Saturday afternoon.
Defensive backs Nadir Barnwell, Dre Boggs, Ruhann Peele, Delon Stephenson and fullback Razohnn Gross were kicked off the team. Initially, the five had been suspended.
Barnwell, Boggs and Stephenson were slated to be starters.
According to the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office, Barnwell, Peele, Gross and Stephenson were charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a riot for a fight in New Brunswick that left a man with a broken jaw back in April.
Boggs is charged in connection with two home-invasion robberies in April and May, the county prosecutor’s office said.
The charges are the latest blow to a program whose head coach is embroiled in an academic investigation.
Investigators are looking into whether Flood violated school or NCAA rules by contacting a faculty member about the academic status of one of the players now charged, defensive back Barnwell, who was reportedly in danger of not passing a class.
When asked about the university investigation, Flood said, “I’m going to continue to respect the process, and I won’t have any further comment until the end of the process.”
Flood also wouldn’t say whether he had a contingency plan for who would coach the team if he was suspended or fired.
“It’s not something we do as a coaching staff. I have a very talented coaching staff, so I have guys that have been head coaches. But again, I will be coaching the game on Saturday,” Flood said earlier this week.
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