Anyone in the market for a former college football head coach? Kyle Flood is now officially available.
The former Rutgers head coach was slapped with a one-year show-cause penalty as part of the fallout of the scandal that led to Flood’s firing at Rutgers that also cost Julie Hermann her position as the athletic director. Flood was essentially prevented from coaching in college for a year after initially serving a three-game suspension for his conduct in contacting university professors about eligibility concerns for a football player.
Accusations of covering up drug use by players also came under scrutiny by the NCAA as well as the program’s student-ambassador program. Now that the show-cause penalty is served, Flood can now be hired by any college football program without the threat of being punished by the NCAA.
Flood has spent the past year as an offensive line coach with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Flood was 27-24 in four seasons at Rutgers from 2012 through 2015. Former Rutgers defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson also had his show-cause expire. Wilson is currently on the staff at Wagner as a special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Rutgers is still on probation by the NCAA for another year. The probation expires on September 21, 2019, according to NJ.com.
There may be nothing that can be done to make this season end on a positive note for Rutgers. Losers of four straight games by a minimum of 17 points, and in a season that has seen a share of suspensions, off-field concerns and the head coach suspended for three games, it has been a rough season for Rutgers that cannot end soon enough. In the little time that remains though, Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood has a job to do and his decision-making will continue to be questioned along the way.
In a post published on NJ.com today by Dan Duggan, Flood’s decision to stand pat with starting quarterback Chris Laviano is labeled as “inexplicable.”
“But college football is a bottom-line business. And the bottom line has been abysmal recently for Laviano, who has completed 38-of-87 passes (43.7 percent) for 410 yards, no touchdowns and five interceptions during the losing streak.
Despite those struggles, Flood steadfastly has stood behind his first-year starter. Meanwhile, the calls for a quarterback change grow louder each week from the segment of the fan base that hasn’t completely checked out on this season.”
As mentioned, Laviano’s line in the weekly box scores has not been pretty. Four games, four losses, zero touchdown passes and five interceptions. Laviano has thrown 12 touchdown passes this season, with 11 interceptions as well. Changing quarterbacks and going with Hayden Rettig will not instantly turn things around to the point where Rutgers fans can look at this season as a success, but it might be worth the opportunity to allow him some mroe playing time in these final two weeks of the season to see what he can do if only because Laviano has struggled over the past month.
Rutgers plays on the road against Army this week and wraps up the 2015 season at home against Maryland. Last weekend’s loss to Nebraska officially eliminated the Scarlet Knights from postseason eligibility after making the postseason in their first year as a Big Ten member.
The three-game suspension previously handed to Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood has expired. The Scarlet Knights, after going 1-2 in his absence, will have Flood back on thew sideline this weekend when Rutgers visits Indiana. He will do starting this week as he meets with the media for the first time since being suspended three games and fined $50,000 by Rutgers, and those covering the team have some questions they would like answered.
Ryan Dunleavy of Asbury Park Press has five questions he would like to see answered by Flood, and they are not at all without reason. For starters, any explanation for the decision-making involved in contacting a professor that led to his suspension would be nice. At this point Flood has nothing to lose or hide (at least, let’s hope he has nothing left to hide). Flood probably should have been fired for his actions and he got off with a three-game suspension instead and still has the support of boosters. Honestly, what will it take now to force Rutgers to remove Flood as head coach? Flood has already survived the storm it would seem, so why not come clean and move on?
Flood can play his return to the head coaching duties two ways. He can choose to decline to comment on the events that led to his suspension and attempt to shift the focus forward to Indiana, even if that means consistently declining comment question after question. If he does that, he must keep his cool, knowing there will be pressure to answer at least some questions. Losing control of emotions would not play well at all for Flood under the circumstances.
Flood should have a very tight rope to walk moving forward as head coach. Illinois and Maryland have already canned their coaches for various reasons, and Rutgers probably should have been the third Big Ten program to change head coaches as well given the information revealed from its investigation of Flood. Flood is not irreplaceable and there will always be head coaches out there to be hired. Flood was given a second chance by Rutgers. It is now up to him to make the most of it now. Coming clean and honestly addressing the issues he is responsible for would be a good first step.
Boosters tend to carry a heavy influence on the decisions made by universities and college football programs, and Rutgers is no exception. With head coach Kyle Flood serving two of his three weeks on suspension (the third and final game comes next week against Michigan State), it may be comforting for the head coach to know the boosters have his back.
In a story from MyCentralJersey.com, one of the most prominent Rutgers boosters, Jeff Towers, says he and other boosters he has conversed with are not wavering on supporting Flood as head coach of the Scarlet Knights.
“The boosters I have spoken to believe the long-term interests of the football program are best served by retaining Coach Flood,” Towers said. “Coaching continuity is a keystone of long-term success in any sport, let alone a Division I, Power Five football program. A change in the head coaching position at Rutgers now will set the program back for years, if not permanently.”
Flood was suspended for three games by the university as a result of an investigation showing Flood went around the university protocol in contacting a professor regarding the academic status of one of his football players. Flood took responsibility for his actions despite initially firing back on the allegations against him.
Rutgers and Flood agreed on a contract extension in September 2014 that keeps Flood at the helm through January 2019.
Rutgers is entering its third game of the season and wide receiver Leonte Carroo is already serving his second suspension of the year. Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced Sunday Carroo has been suspended from the program as a result of an incident that occurred outside the stadium Saturday night following a home loss to Washington State.
Flood refused to comment about further details of this situation, but said the suspension is indefinite while an investigation is ongoing. Carroo was suspended for the first half of the season opener for Rutgers as well. Carroo has seven catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns this season. Last season Carroo was second in the Big Ten with 1,086 receiving yards and third with 10 touchdowns.
Carroo is the best offensive player Rutgers had on the roster, and his loss could not have come at a worst time. Rutgers opens Big Ten play on the road this weekend at Penn State. This has been a rough start to the season for Rutgers. The program has already given the boot to six players while Flood continues to be investigated for his interaction with a player’s professor.