Head football coach Flood should have been fired
Currently suspended head football coach Kyle Flood is going to end up being fired at the end of the season. I don’t understand why University President Robert L. Barchi is delaying the inevitable. On Sept. 15 Barchi handed down a three-game suspension and $50,000 fine on Flood. He received the penalty because of his involvement with a student’s academics and reaching out to a professor, completely disregarding the rules and making them up as he went along.
The sketchiest part of this is his conversation with an academic advisor, which ended with the advisor saying, “We never had this conversation ... I want no part of this.” For Flood to blatantly break the rules, by first sending an email to the professor and then meeting with the professor multiple times after being told not to, is one of the most asinine things I’ve seen a professional coach do since I’ve been at the University.
Knowing it could put your job in jeopardy and then doing it for a kid that could create more trouble? It makes no sense. Flood is lucky he walked out of Old Queens with this light punishment. It’s laughable he’s still in charge of this program after everything that’s been uncovered. And of course, this suspension comes just two days before, what is arguably, the University's biggest game against what many fans deem their biggest rival: Penn State.
Since taking over as head coach in 2012, Flood has done a good job satisfying his superiors and the boosters. He’s made a bowl game each of the three seasons he’s been at the helm. What’s even more salivating for his superiors is that Flood is the lowest paid coach among the “Power Five” coaches. Here’s something that won’t surprise readers — Rutgers is so poor compared to the other Big Ten universities, it’s not even funny. Just recently, The University of Texas at Austin fired their athletic director of 22 months, costing them close to $5 million. They have the luxury of doing this, Rutgers does not.
Due to Athletic Director Julie Hermann’s awful idea of giving Flood an extension before the Penn State game last season — a game in which he lost — his buyout doubled from $700,000 to $1.4 million. However, due to all that’s been uncovered and the negativity surrounding the program, I think the University should pull the trigger at season’s end to try and keep the fans and the very few boosters happy.
I’ve never viewed Flood as the long-term fix for this program. Nothing really stands out about his coaching to me. As far as I’m concerned, he can thank former head coach Greg Schiano for gifting him a solid team and great defense in 2012 that led to being co-AAC Champions with Louisville — Flood’s best season to date. Flood has struggled to keep the big New Jersey recruits in state, although the 2016 class may be the best he’s ever recruited. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think Flood will be around to see it. The events of the past few weeks have put the nail in his coffin.
I understand that what the five current players and three former players have done shouldn’t reflect Flood as a coach — and they don’t — but in the end Flood is the scapegoat for the University and Hermann. That, coupled with ineligible student situation, really doesn't help his situation. The events that have transpired demonstrate that Flood may in fact have lost control of his locker room.
Adding fuel to the fire, on Sept. 14, arguably Rutgers’ best player and possible first round pick, wide receiver Leonte Carroo was suspended indefinitely after being arrested for domestic violence in an incident that occurred after the game against Washington State. He’s accused of picking up the victim and throwing her on to the concrete resulting in injuries. Carroo, the programs’ all time leader in receiving touchdowns, is one of the faces of the program and a captain who is suppose to set a good example for his teammates.
Getting rid of Flood will be a start, but it would not the end of the housecleaning Rutgers needs to do. The University needs to hit the reset button, but they can’t because they’re poor and that all goes back to the top of the athletic program. Hello, Julie Hermann, I’m looking right at you.
Before she was hired, Hermann was part of a scandal at University of Tennessee that wasn’t properly handled, similar to the coaching incident involving Mike Rice. Her past made the situation a whole lot worse. Hermann’s also been in the spotlight for her comments about The Star-Ledger, and there's also a controversial wedding tape, among other things. Not many people have taken her, or Rutgers, seriously since she was put in charge. She needs to go, but once again, the University can’t afford to cut ties with her. Flood yes, Hermann no.
Since the Mike Rice incident, the University has shined bright in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. As mentioned on ESPN’s Outside the Lines “Scarlet Letter” piece, these events are not a local story anymore, but a national embarrassment. Things have to change and they have to change fast or else the University will not only remain in the spotlight but will be involved in a never ending circle of mediocrity as an athletic program.
Ryan Moran is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and economics. His column, “The Morant,” runs on alternate Fridays.