Was Rutgers coach Kyle Flood’s fine ‘a slap on the wrist?’
Kyle Flood says he takes "full responsibility" for the actions that led to his three-game suspension by Rutgers University president Robert Barchi — while the head of the faculty union calls Flood's accompanying $50,000 fine "a slap on the wrist."
Following an investigation, Barchi concluded that Flood's email to a member of the faculty regarding the grades of a player was "inappropriate.
Barchi wrote that "The policy is well-known among staff in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Coach Flood is specifically tasked with knowing both NCAA and our institutional policies regarding these issues,” Barchi said. “Simply, Coach Flood has no excuse for not knowing the rule and following it.”
Flood said in his response that he "will make make sure I adhere to all University policies and I will place an even greater emphasis with our staff on knowing, understanding and following every University, Big Ten and NCAA rule."
Athletic Director Julie Hermann in a statement says she is "fully supportive" of Flood's punishment and hopes that the incident is taken as "an opportunity to grow as coaches, administrators and staff."
The union representing faculty, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, in a post on its Facebook page said it was "pleased" that Barchi had taken their concerns seriously. However, the union's president, David Hughes told NJ.com that the fine imposed on Flood was a "slap on the wrist," which amounted to "change for the pinball machine" to the head coach.
Hughes believes that if a faculty member had violated university rules the penalty would have more severe.
COACH KYLE FLOOD'S STATEMENT:
At Rutgers, we hold our student-athletes to high academic standards befitting a great university. We adhere to a higher standard, one that I am responsible to be aware of. I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions. I care deeply about my student-athlete’s academic performance.
As the head coach, when I recruit players, my responsibility to them and their families is to do all I can to make sure they leave Rutgers with a degree and are prepared for a successful life off the football field. I am proud that our program has ranked in the top 10% of the APR 8 years in a row. That success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s due to our top-to-bottom program culture emphasizing the importance of academic success, and it’s why we have a robust academic support staff that is second to none.
I will always instill in my players that they have a responsibility to themselves, their families, our University and its alumni to perform well in the classroom, and I will never stop caring about their academic performance.
Moving forward, I will make sure I adhere to all University policies and I will place an even greater emphasis with our staff on knowing, understanding and following every University, Big Ten and NCAA rule.
STATEMENT FROM ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JULIE HERMANN
“Yesterday, President Barchi shared with me the findings of the Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance review of the matter regarding Coach Flood.
I know Coach Flood understands the severity of his transgressions and I am fully supportive of President Barchi’s decision to impose a suspension and a significant fine.
All of us must use this as an opportunity to grow as coaches, administrators and staff. We have been in the process of instituting additional compliance training as it relates to University policies on athletic-faculty communication and continue to enhance our documentation of all compliance-related meetings.
I have full confidence in Coach Norries Wilson to lead our team for the next three games and we will continue to provide the support necessary to enable our student-athletes to achieve success.”
Toni Antonelli contributed to this report