Rutgers has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding potential rules violations committed by the athletic department, mainly involving the football program.
The allegations, which include a previously reported incident involving fired head coach Kyle Flood and his communication with an academic staff member, were reached following an 18-month investigation, the school said in a release.
Other possible rules violations, school president Robert Barchi wrote in a letter addressed to the Rutgers Community, were “identified in the prospective student-athlete host/hostess program used in the Department of Athletics and inconsistencies in the administration of the Department of Athletics drug testing procedures and policies.”
Overall, the Notice of Allegations details a total of seven violations of NCAA rules, including a “failure to monitor” for “part” of the school’s athletics program. The Rutgers case has been deemed Level II by the NCAA, the second-most serious designation.
“Rutgers has already taken significant steps to address these allegations and will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA to ensure that our athletics program meets the highest standards of ethical behavior and is in strict compliance with all NCAA and Big Ten policies,” the school said.
Flood was suspended for three games during the 2015 season for personally contacting an academic staff member (after being instructed not to) regarding the academic eligibility of cornerback Nadir Barnwell. That contact, plus “failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance in the football program” are considered Level II violations by the NCAA.
Another violation involves a football assistant allegedly having “improper off-campus contact” with a recruit in 2014. The same assistant was also charged with “unethical conduct” by the NCAA for “providing false or misleading information” to the NCAA and Rutgers during the investigation.
The NCAA also says Rutgers failed to monitor both its drug-testing procedures and its hostess program and thusly said the school failed to monitor the football program regarding the two issues “between 2011 and 2016.”
The NCAA has alleged that between the 2011-12 academic year and the Fall of 2015, the Rutgers football host/hostess program, staffed by student workers, was not properly operated and supervised as required by NCAA legislation; that two student hostesses had impermissible off-campus contact and electronic correspondence with prospective student athletes; and that the former football director of recruiting impermissibly publicized the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.
It is alleged that between September 2011 and the Fall of 2015, the University and the Director of Sports Medicine employed practices and procedures that violated the institution’s drug-testing policy by: failing to notify the Director of Athletics of positive drug tests; along with the former head football coach, failing to implement prescribed corrective and disciplinary actions and penalties; and failing to identify select drug tests as positive in accordance with University policy.
Rutgers has 90 days to respond to the Notice of Allegations and says it has taken preemptive measures to address the issues presented by the NCAA.
In addition to firing Flood and the aforementioned assistant, the school says it has “instituted a comprehensive new drug testing policy” and a “robust rules education program” and made several hires in athletics (including athletics director Pat Hobbs) and compliance.
After Flood was fired, Rutgers hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash as head coach. In Ash’s first season, the Scarlet Knights went 2-10, including an 0-9 mark in Big Ten play.
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