Published May 03, 2016
Five Rutgers football players have been suspended from the team after one was charged in a home invasion and four others were charged with assaulting a group of people in New Brunswick in April.
Also Thursday, Kyle Flood said will coach Rutgers in its season opener against Norfolk State on Saturday despite an ongoing academic investigation.
Prosecutors announced Thursday that 22-year-old defensive back Ruhann Peele, 20-year-old defensive back Nadir Barnwell, 20-year-old fullback Razohnn Gross and 22-year-old defensive back Delon Stephenson were charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a riot for a fight that left a man with a broken jaw.
The Middlesex County prosecutor's office says 20-year-old defensive back Andre Boggs was charged in two home invasion robberies in April and May 2015.
Former Rutgers player Tejay Johnson was charged in those cases as well.
It wasn't immediately clear if any of the men had attorneys to comment on the charges.
Flood said after practice Thursday that there hasn't been a resolution in the investigation into whether he violated school or NCAA rules by contacting a faculty member about the academic status of a player.
Athletic director Julie Hermann attended practice, but didn't comment. The university has been examining Flood's actions for about a week.
"I have no reason to believe I won't be coaching on Saturday," Flood said.
Flood refused to speculate on whether he would be disciplined, saying he'll be respectful the process. He also wouldn't say whether he had a contingency plan for who would coach the team if he was suspended or fired.
"It's not something we do as a coaching staff. I have a very talented coaching staff, so I have guys that have been head coaches. But again, I will be coaching the game on Saturday," Flood said.
Flood said he doesn't think the investigation has been a distraction for his team.
"I feel right now this has brought the team closer together," Flood said. "I feel good about where the team is at mentally. Ultimately, we're going to find out Saturday at 12 noon."
Flood is entering his fourth season as head coach and his 11th overall at the university. He's 23-16, taking the Scarlet Knights to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons.
The scene and feeling at practice was different on Thursday.
There was a higher security presence, with a security officer blocking Scarlet Knights Way, the road to the Hale Center. More Rutgers officials than usual attended practice.