Kyle Flood: ‘I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions’

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Just a short time ago, Rutgers confirmed that head coach Kyle Flood has been suspended for three games and fined $50,000.  The punitive measures stem from an in-house investigations into allegations that the head coach had impermissible contact with an RU faculty regarding the academic standing of one his now-former players.

In a press release, Flood acknowledged the suspension and accepted “full responsibility” for his actions, which, according to the official report, including “badgering” an academic advisor and “provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions” to a paper submitted by one of his players.

Below is the complete text of the (for now) head coach’s statement:

Earlier today, I met with President Barchi in his office and he informed me of my three-game suspension and the imposed fine.

At Rutgers, we hold our student-athletes to high academic standards befitting a great university. We adhere to a higher standard, one that I am responsible to be aware of. I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions. I care deeply about my student-athlete’s academic performance. As the head coach, when I recruit players, my responsibility to them and their families is to do all I can to make sure they leave Rutgers with a degree and are prepared for a successful life off the football field. I am proud that our program has ranked in the top 10% of the APR 8 years in a row. That success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s due to our top-to-bottom program culture emphasizing the importance of academic success, and it’s why we have a robust academic support staff that is second to none. I will always instill in my players that they have a responsibility to themselves, their families, our University and its alumni to perform well in the classroom, and I will never stop caring about their academic performance.

Moving forward, I will make sure I adhere to all University policies and I will place an even greater emphasis with our staff on knowing, understanding and following every University, Big Ten and NCAA rule.

In deference to our student athletes, coaches, and staff moving forward, I will not provide further comment at this time.

Flood will be shelved for a road game against Penn State (Sept. 19) and home games against Kansas (Sept. 26) and Michigan State (Oct. 10). He would then be eligible to return for the Oct. 17 road trip to Indiana.

Whether or not he’ll retain his job at season’s end is another matter entirely.

Additionally, athletic director Julie Hermann released her own statement in which she confirmed associated head coach Norries Wilson will serve as interim head coach in Flood’s absence.

Yesterday, President Barchi shared with me the findings of the Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance review of the matter regarding Coach Flood.

I know Coach Flood understands the severity of his transgressions and I am fully supportive of President Barchi’s decision to impose a suspension and a significant fine.

All of us must use this as an opportunity to grow as coaches, administrators and staff. We have been in the process of instituting additional compliance training as it relates to University policies on athletic-faculty communication and continue to enhance our documentation of all compliance-related meetings.

I have full confidence in Coach Norries Wilson to lead our team for the next three games and we will continue to provide the support necessary to enable our student-athletes to achieve success.

FAU TE John Raine awarded another year of eligibility

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We overlooked this one earlier in the week, but it’s a rather sizable piece of official news for Lane Kiffin‘s Florida Atlantic football program.

By way of the Palm Beach Post Tuesday, it has been confirmed that John Raine was recently awarded a fifth season of eligibility.  The ruling will allow the senior tight end to play for the Owls in 2020.

A broken ankle cost Raine all but four games of his true freshman season in 2016, paving the way for the NCAA to rule in his favor on his appeal for another year of eligibility.

“I’m super excited about it,” Raine told the Post about the NCAA’s approval of a medical hardship waiver. “I love being here; I love playing football.”

With two regular-season games plus a bowl remaining, Rainer has already set career-highs in receptions (26), receiving yards (426) and receiving touchdowns (five).  The touchdowns are tops on the Owls.

This weekend, a Notre Dame home game won’t be sold out for first time since 1973

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All good things, streaks in this particular case, must come to an end.

Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Notre Dame will play host to Navy in the 93rd renewal of their football rivalry.  And, according to the South Bend Tribune, the game won’t be played in front of a sellout crowd at Notre Dame Stadium (capacity: 77,622), which is actually a startling development.

This weekend, you see, will mark the first time since Thanksgiving Day 1973 (vs. Air Force) that the Fighting Irish haven’t sold out a home football game, snapping a streak of 273 straight sellouts.  Ahead of that streak being snapped, the Irish’s athletic director for the past dozen years, Jack Swarbrick, attempted to downplay the development.

From the Tribune:

It was never sort of important to me to keep it alive, but I understand why other people thought so. It’s a point of distinction to a lot of people and our fans.

“For me it’s always been: What’s the stadium environment like? Are we creating a great environment for our team and for our student-athletes? That you can say it’s also sold out is sort of a byproduct of that.

“But if my choice is (77,622) people in an environment that’s not really good versus 75,000 in a raucous environment, I’ll take the latter every time.

Notre Dame’s 237-game streak had been the second-longest active streak in college football behind Nebraska’s 373, which will move to 374 when Big Red hosts Wisconsin this weekend. The last time the Cornhuskers failed to sellout Memorial Stadium was during the 1962 season.

Four finalists named for 2019 Paul Hornung Award

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The field for the award that fetes the nation’s most versatile college football player has been whittled down significantly.

Earlier Thursday, the Louisville Sports Commission announced the four finalists for the 2019 Paul Hornung Award that have been chosen by the 17-member selection committee.  And (surprise!), all four of the finalists come from Power Five conferences: Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU), Joe Reed (Virginia) and Wan’Dale Robinson (Nebraska).

All four of the finalists come from the offensive side of the ball and have spent time as return specialists as well.  Because of injuries at the position, Bowden, listed as a wide receiver to start the season, has started the last three games at quarterback for UK, with the Wildcats going 2-1 in that span.

Reed is primarily a wide receiver and Edwards-Helaire a running back, while Robinson has split his time between both positions.

The 2018 winner of the Hornung Award was Purdue’s Rondale Moore, who likely would’ve been given serious finalist consideration again this year if not for his season essentially being derailed by a lingering hamstring injury.

For all of the statistical particulars for each candidate, click HERE the award’s press release:

 

Texas’ Jalen Green apologizes for vicious hit that angered K-State

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It appears Kansas State will have to settle for a mea culpa.

In the second half of last Saturday’s game, Texas cornerback Jalen Green (pictured) leveled K-State wide receiver Wykeen Gill (not pictured) on a play away from the ball and was ejected from the contest after (eventually) being flagged for targeting.  The play will cost Green the first half of UT’s game this Saturday against Iowa State per NCAA targeting rules, but will likely cost Gill at least one full game as he will be sidelined for the Week 12 matchup with West Virginia as the receiver is currently in concussion protocol.

That disparity didn’t sit well with K-State’s head coach.

“It’s unfortunate because it was away from the play, didn’t have anything to do with the play, and Wykeen is probably going to miss a game,” Chris Klieman stated at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “When you have a hit like that and somebody only misses a half, I don’t think that’s very fair.”

Wednesday afternoon, Green issued an apology in which he stated, in part, that he “realize[s] how it may have looked” but “I do want everyone to know I was not trying to take a cheap shot.”

As for “not trying to take a cheap shot,” you be the judge.