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Did Rutgers Coach Interfere with Player's Eligibility?

Jason Scott

Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood could face suspension or firing because of alleged “impermissible contact” with a university employee regarding the academic eligibility of one of his players.

NJ Advance Media reports that the investigation centers on an email Flood allegedly sent from a personal email account to a faculty member in the university’s Mason Gross School of Arts regarding junior cornerback Nadir Barnwell. Barnwell is reportedly in danger of being declared academically ineligible.

University and NCAA rules prohibit coaches from communicating with academic faculty regarding a player’s academic performance.

The severity of Flood’s potential punishment depends on the content of the email. If it is found that Flood attempted to provide Barnwell with an impermissible benefit, punishment could range from a public reprimand to termination of his contract. 

“Our faculty are part of our program,” Flood said Tuesday. “Any correspondence I had with a professor in regard to a student-athlete would really be of this nature: One, to be in support of whatever decision that faculty member made, and two to inquire as to whether or not there would be an opportunity to earn a better grade. Now, this practice is not unusual at Rutgers. Many students all over campus receive what are called ‘t-grades’ doing work outside of when the class ends that semester to earn a better grade.”

Rutgers opens their season Sept. 5 against Norfolk State.

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