Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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Rutgers issues response to NCAA Notice of Allegations

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Those who love the ins-and-outs of the NCAA jurisprudence were in for a treat Thursday as Rutgers released its response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations.

In a case that started a year and a half ago, the NCAA has charged the Scarlet Knights with fouls including “drug use by players, hidden and possibly doctored drug-testing records, improper recruiting tactics and football officials who ignored rules and lied to investigators.” You may remember the news of Kyle Flood allegedly attempting to influence a player’s grades… a player Flood later kicked out of the program for disciplinary reasons.

Five months after those charges, Rutgers released its 102-page response, which NJ.com obtained. The NCAA is charging Rutgers with six Level II violations and one Level III (Level I is the most serious.)

In advance of a Committee on Infractions meeting this summer, Rutgers will self-impose:

  • a 1-year probation period
  • a $5,000 fine
  • a reduction of 10 off-campus recruiting days (five in the fall of 2017-18 and five in the spring)
  • a limit of 36 official visits hosted, 26 lower than the limit
  • a 1-week ban on initiating phone calls, contact on social media and written correspondence to recruits

“The University will continue to identify areas in which it can improve and will implement new policies or procedures,” the university said in a statement. “Rutgers University … recognizes its responsibility to act in good faith and with the utmost integrity. The University believes that through the strong leadership of Pat Hobbs, the hiring of new head coach Chris Ash, and new men’s basketball coach, Steve Pikiell, the University is headed in the right direction.”

Flood was fired after the 2015 season and hit with a show-cause penalty. He now works for the Atlanta Falcons.

TCU-turned-Rutgers QB Zach Allen suffers torn ACL

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And then there was one.

In mid-November, Rutgers had six scholarship quarterbacks on its roster.  By the beginning of December, that number had been cut in half as two of them, Hayden Rettig and Chris Laviano, left the program as graduate transfers while another, Mike Dare, left as a run-of-the-mill transfer.  The group was further pared earlier this month when Tylin Oden was dismissed for violating team rules.

Today, RU confirmed that one of the two remaining scholarship quarterbacks, Zach Allen, has been diagnosed with a torn ACL.  The redshirt senior transfer from TCU suffered the injury during a practice this past Saturday.

While the school did not give a timeline for a return, it’s likely that Allen would not be able to see the playing field until October, at the earliest.

With Allen’s injury, it leaves the Scarlet Knights with just one healthy signal-caller on scholarship for the remainder of spring practice — Giovanni Rescigno, the starter to close out the 2016 season and presumptive front-runner to maintain the job.  Another will be added when 2017 signee Johnathan Lewis comes to campus this summer.

Additionally, former Temple quarterback Tommy Wyatt transferred into the program earlier this month, albeit as a walk-on.

Indiana won’t accept any player with history of sexual or domestic violence

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One Big Ten school is following in the SEC’s footsteps — and blazing its own path on top of it.

In April of 2015, the SEC voted to ban member institutions from accepting transfers who had been disciplined for serious misconduct at his previous school, with that defined as sexual assault, sexual violence and domestic violence.  In June of 2016, that same conference announced that it will be expanding its existing policy to include “dating violence, stalking or conduct of a nature that creates serious concern about the safety of others.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana has enacted a similar policy, with the Big Ten school barring a transfer from another institution from enrolling “who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.” Sexual violence is defined by the school as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”

IU’s policy also significantly expands on what the SEC’s current policy is, as not only transfers but “incoming freshmen” are a part of the ban as well.

“I think it’s new ground,” athletic director Fred Glass told the Star. “My hope is that we’re leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”

The university also ensured that any appeals would be handled “outside the athletic department.” From the paper’s report:

It includes an appellate process, Glass said, acknowledging that “there’s always a chance that there’s going to be some person that gets caught up in this that shouldn’t, when you consider all the circumstances.”

But Glass also emphasized that any such appeal would go before a committee comprised of [IU faculty athletics representative Kurt] Zorn, IU general counsel Jacqueline Simmons and IU chief student welfare and Title IX officer Emily Springston.

“The key to that,” Glass said, “is those decisions are being made outside the athletic department.”

The Big Ten has allowed each member institution to institute — or not — its own policy on this issue.  Indiana is the first; whether other conference members follow suit will be interesting to see play out.

Dismissed Rutgers QB to start anew at Kansas JUCO

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Two weeks after being summarily by Rutgers, Tylin Oden has decided restart his collegiate playing career at a much lower level of football.

On his personal Twitter account Wednesday, Oden announced that he has “decided to play football and further my education at Garden City Community College” in Kansas.  As GCCC plays at the junior-college level, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.

Including this season, Odin has three years of eligibility remaining as well as a redshirt.

Earlier this month, RU announced that Oden had been dismissed from the football program for violating unspecified team rules. Not long after, Oden shared exactly where the blame for the dismissal belonged — squarely on his own shoulders.

Once committed to Louisville, the Tennessee native was a three-star member of RU’s 2016 recruiting class. As a true freshman, he completed one of his eight pass attempts and ran for 144 yards.

He was listed as the co-backup to starter Giovanni Rescigno on the spring depth chart, although Zach Allen, a graduate transfer from TCU, was getting the majority of reps with the No. 2 offense prior to Oden’s dismissal.

Tylin Oden places blame squarely on himself for Rutgers dismissal

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Well isn’t this just a refreshing change of pace.

Thought of as Rutgers’ quarterback of the future, Tylin Oden was instead summarily dismissed from Chris Ash‘s football program earlier this week. In announcing the dismissal, RU would only allow that the sophomore signal-caller had been banished for violating unspecified team rules.

While he didn’t delve into the specifics either, Oden shared exactly where the blame for the dismissal belonged — on his shoulders.

“Coach Ash tried many, many, many times to help me and get me on the right track,” Oden said in an interview with nj.com. “There was only so many times he could try. So no hard feelings. I respect his decision and wish the best of luck to him for what he’s trying to do at Rutgers.”

Once committed to Louisville, the Tennessee native was a three-star member of RU’s 2016 recruiting class. As a true freshman, he completed one of his eight pass attempts and ran for 144 yards.

He was listed as the co-backup to starter Giovanni Rescigno on the spring depth chart, although Zach Allen, a graduate transfer from TCU, was getting the majority of reps with the No. 2 offense prior to Oden’s dismissal.