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Flood Legacy continues: Rutgers responds to NCAA charges

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Rutgers responds to the allegations with self-imposed penalties

Rutgers University Introduces New Athletic Director Julie Hermann Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

The charges of rules violations by the NCAA - a legacy of the Hermann-Flood program - is being responded to by Rutgers.

In an exclusive report, nj.com’s Keith Sargeant reported this morning that the University has responded to the NCAA allegations and, in essence, has said, “You got us.”

The essence of the charges, which are primarily Level II in the NCAA’s hierarchy of violations, is this:

  • Floodgate: Kyle Flood providing a student-athlete with impermissible extra benefits by directly contacting a professor
  • Floodgate-plus: A former assistant football coach is alleged to have had improper off-campus recruiting contact with a prospective student athlete in 2014 (Level III); charging the coach with unethical conduct for providing false or misleading information to the NCAA and the institution during the investigation. (Level II)
  • Floodgate redux: Between the 2011-12 academic year and the Fall of 2015, the Rutgers football host/hostess program was not properly operated and supervised as required by NCAA legislation; that the former football director of recruiting impermissibly publicized the recruitment of prospective student-athletes. (Level II)
  • Flood again: Alleged that between September 2011 and the Fall of 2015, the University and the Director of Sports Medicine employed practices and procedures that violated the institution’s drug-testing policy (Level II)
  • Hermanngate: Between 2011 and 2016, the University failed to monitor its football program regarding its host/hostess program and drug-testing program. (Level II)

From Sargeant’s report: Level II violations are defined by the NCAA as "violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.''

Under NCAA procedures, schools can respond and recommend self-imposed sanctions. The NCAA then has 90 days to respond to the recommendations. Rutgers is suggesting the following penalties:

  • A one-year period of probation to commence with the release of the Committee on Infractions decision on this matter, during which the University's Office of Athletic Compliance will be required to prepare reports on the progress of self-imposed sanctions and other penalties and present those reports to the President of the University and the Office of the Committee on Infractions;
  • A $5,000 fine payable to the NCAA
  • A reduction in the number of permissible, off-campus recruiting days by a total of 10: five days in the fall evaluation period and five days in the spring evaluation period during the 2017-18 academic year;
  • A limitation of 36 official visits (for high school seniors and transfer students) in football during the 2017-18 academic year, a reduction by four from the average number of visits used during the four most recent academic years and 26 fewer than permitted under NCAA legislation;
  • A probation on initiating telephone calls, contact via social media, and written correspondence with prospective student-athletes for a one-week period during the 2017-18 academic year.

The fact that Flood was initially suspended and find by the University, and that ultimately he and AD Julie Hermann were fired, are a major part of Rutgers’ defense. In removing two persons principally involved with the actions and the (lack of) oversight when the violations occurred, Rutgers hopes that the NCAA will see that it has acted, and continues to act, aggressively in addressing issues.

The $5,000 fine might seem small and random. It is, however, actually directed by the NCAA in its procedures.

Rutgers also seems to be following the NCAA guidelines in the other sanctions it is recommending. Based on this NCAA procedural document, the limits on recruit contacts, visits, and the like falls in line with RU’s recommendations.

Source: NCAA “Inside the Infractions Process”

Virginia recently had sanctions for recruiting violations. Like Rutgers, it self-reported, and, again like RU, part of its punishment includes things like reduced off-campus contacts for prospects as well as fewer spring evaluations. UVa and the NCAA acted very quickly (for the NCAA) in that the incidents under investigation occurred in 2016.

Then there’s North Carolina which had violations in 2010 and has yet to be fully addressed by the NCAA. That, though, did not stop Maryland’s president from offering his thoughts on what should happen to the Tarheels.