NCAA presents Rutgers with notice of 7 potential allegations
Rutgers received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding potential rule violations within the athletic department, the school announced Monday afternoon.
Keith Sargeant of NJ Advanced Media first broke the story of the findings following an 18-month investigation minutes before the official announcement.
As per NCAA procedures, the University will have 90 days to respond to the seven allegations that range from 2011 until 2015.
University President Dr. Robert L. Barchi issued a statement to the results shortly after the news was broke through a letter to the Rutgers community.
“These allegations by the NCAA enforcement staff are primarily focused on issues that have been well reported and discussed throughout our community,” Barchi wrote. “As you know, we have already taken significant remedial actions concerning many of these matters … The University retained outside counsel for the investigation and has cooperated fully with the NCAA enforcement staff as the investigative process continued.”
You can read the entirety of Barchi’s message to the community here.
The seven allegations, most of targeted towards the football program, range from negligence in reporting positive drug test results to impermissible contact — both from a football student-ambassador group with recruits as well as the previously reported direct contact from former head coach Kyle Flood with a professor seeking extra benefits for one of his players.
NCAA violations are ranked in four levels, ranging from 1 — most severe, results in potential postseason ban / loss of scholarships and in extreme cases, the death penalty — to 4, which present little more than a slap on the wrist.
The full report can be read here.
Let’s go through it in reverse chronological order, shall we?
The most recent violation alleged is the one that received the most publicity. Former head coach Kyle Flood is accused of making impermissible contact with a professor in an attempt to seek special consideration for former Scarlet Knight defensive back Nadir Barnwell. He was suspended three games and 50,000 dollars by the University following an internal investigation. Flood would subsequently be fired at the end of the season while Barnwell was dismissed at the start of the season after getting arrested for his involvement in an off-campus assault.
While this allegation was for one specific instance, the other two major charges came over an extended period of time, beginning in the fall of Greg Schiano’s final year as Rutgers head football coach and ending in the fall of Flood’s last year at the helm on the Banks.
Dr. Robert Monaco, the Associate Director of Athletics/Sports Medicine and team physician for the football currently in his 21st year serving in both positions, is alleged to have “employed practices and procedures that violated the institution's drug-testing policy involving banned substance use” alongside the head coaches at the time, according to the report.
Monaco allegedly “failed to notify the director of athletics of positive tests or involve the director of athletics in determining the penalties for football student-athletes who tested positive for a banned substance as required by the institution's drug-testing policy” on numerous occasions.
Furthermore, Monaco, the head coach and the institution “failed to implement the required corrective or disciplinary actions mandated by the institution's drug-testing policy,” according to the report.
As a result, 32 Rutgers football players went unpunished for testing positive for a banned substance, with 16 current and former players allowed to compete without being disciplined.
Finally, the NCAA alleges that from the 2011-2012 academic year through the fall of 2015, members of the football student-ambassador group “engaged in impermissible hosting duties” with recruits.
This included escorting them during pregame and postgame activities and accompanying them in a non-administrative capacity during football facility tours alongside the staff during both official and unofficial visits, to Times Square in New York City during official visit activities and during both on and off-campus meals, conversing and fielding questions from both recruits and parents/legal guardians in the process.
A pair of then-football student-ambassadors are also accused of having impermissible off-campus recruiting contact arranged through impermissible electronic contact with five then-recruits between April and May of 2015. They met the prospective student-athletes on the official visits they accompanied in violation of NCAA rules.
To top it off, between August of 2014 and August of 2015, a then-student ambassador and an unnamed then football director of recruiting “commented publicly beyond confirming recruitment and publicized visits to the institution's campus of at least 19 then football prospective student-athletes on social media,” according to the report.
Rutgers had two directors of recruiting within the timeframe — Phil Galiano served in the position from July 2014 until he was promoted to special teams coordinator and tight ends coach in February of 2015. He was replaced by E.J. Barthel, who held the position from March 2015 until he was let go by Chris Ash in January of 2016 when he took over as the head football coach in Piscataway. Barthel was hired for the same position at Temple shortly after.
For the three major allegations listed above — all of which being assessed as Level II violations due to “providing or intending to provide more than a minimal competitive advantage and involving conduct that undermines the principle of student-athlete well-being and compromises the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model” — Flood was handed a second violation.
The all encompassing charge came because Flood “did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance or monitored his staff within the football program,” according to the report.
Finally, Rutgers was accused of a pair of Level 3 violations due to the actions of former defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson. Wilson is first alleged to have impermissible, off-campus contact with a class of 2016 recruit at his school on May 14, 2014.
He’s accused of a second violation for presenting false or misleading information to the NCAA enforcement staff, denying the fact he had impermissible contact with the recruit when questioned about the incident on December 15, 2015 and August 6, 2016.
Rutgers has since cleaned house, ridding itself of Flood and former Director of Athletics Julie Hermann. In their place came Ash and Pat Hobbs, who have worked tirelessly to reverse the reputation built by the previous regime.
According to Barchi, Rutgers has cooperated with the NCAA in its investigation every step of the way. All there is left to do is wait for the results of an appeal and hope his new hires Hobbs and Ash continue the work they’ve done in their first full year on the Banks.
“The University has cooperated fully with the investigation since the start, including both the discovery and self-reporting of several of these violations,” Barchi wrote. “Rutgers is a proud member of the NCAA and of the Big Ten Conference and we must act in good faith and with the utmost integrity in our Department of Athletics. … Despite my disappointment over these allegations, I believe we are a stronger University because of our immediate and transparent response to them, and you have my word that we will continue to strive for excellence with integrity.”