NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers has suspended football coach Kyle Flood for three games and fined him $50,000 for contacting a faculty member over a player's grade.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi announced the punishment Wednesday, a day after he said he received an internal investigative report.
The report found that Flood emailed and met in person with a faculty member even though he knew or should have known of the university's policies prohibiting coach-initiated contact with faculty members regarding students' academic standing.
The report also found that Flood provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions for a player's paper to complete a course. The report said that assistance was in line with standard student support offered on campus by student learning centers and did not constitute academic misconduct.
The penalty comes with Rutgers football reeling from a series of player arrests and suspensions over the last month. Six players have been dismissed from the program following arrests and three former players were arrested. Star receiver Leonte Carroo was suspended for a second time this season after he was charged with body slamming a woman he was once romantically involved with following the Scarlet Knights' loss to Washington State on Saturday.
It was not immediately known who would coach Rutgers (1-1) on Saturday at Penn State.
Flood was not immediately available for comment.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Barchi said he hopes this doesn't hurt the reputation of New Jersey's flagship state university.
"Make sure we put this in perspective," he said. "We're talking about actions that are occurring with a single coach and a single team."
The penalty for Flood relates only to the academic improprieties and not the string of arrests of players and former players this month on allegations including home invasion and dorm-room robberies and domestic violence.
Barchi said that because the alleged crimes are part of an investigation by a prosecutor, the university can't do its own probe now.
"There's no correlation or interrelationship between the two at all," he said of the legal issues and Flood's talking to a faculty member about a student's status.
Flood is entering his fourth season as coach. He's 23-16, taking the Scarlet Knights to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons.