Rutgers University was notified Tuesday of several possible violations in the Rutgers Football program.
The NCAA notified Rutgers University of several possible violations within their football program, issuing a Notice of Allegations after an 18-month investigation. At the core of the notice is the allegation that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football program hasn’t been operating within an atmosphere of NCAA compliance, with seven possible violations outlined in the report.
The case has been tagged Level II by the NCAA, which means that it’s less serious than a Level I violation. A Level II case includes “violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage” and can be tied to impermissible benefits that also fall into the “more than minimal but less than substantial” structure.
The violations date back prior to 2015 under the tenure of Coach Kyle Flood, who was fired from the university after the 2015 season. Flood’s tenure had been wrought with issues, including a three-game suspension for “academic improprieties.” Those improprieties include contacting a professor on behalf of cornerback Nadir Barnwell. Coaching staff should never contact professors directly regarding academic issues, which is why the athletics staff includes academic support liaisons. In this case, Flood asked the professor for “special consideration” to help Barnwell in a course during the 2014-15 year. Flood also failed to maintain “an atmosphere of compliance” in the football program.
Rutgers began an independent program review in October 2015 following several off-field issues including failed drug tests and the arrest of star wide receiver Leonte Caroo. The internal investigation triggered a response from the university, which might prove to be their saving grace in light of the current NCAA scrutiny.
The program has already taken steps to correct Flood’s wrongdoings, including firing Flood and his entire staff. University President Robert Barachi also fired then Athletics Director Julie Hermann and replaced her with Patrick Hobbs. As a result, it’s likely that Rutgers will be slapped with “failure to monitor” and will avoid a bowl ban and loss of scholarships.
Rutgers has 90 days to respond and will also be able to appeal the notice and request a hearing in 2017. The Scarlet Knights finished the 2016 season with a 2-10 record and a 7th place finish in the East.