Kyle Flood, Rutgers head football coach, was suspended for three games today for improperly contacting a professor. The full report from the University is here.
The basic gist is this: a student-athlete was going to be academically ineligible based on performance in a certain class. The academic advisors with the football program, working with the student, had him ask about doing work to improve the grade, in May. The student contacted the professor, but the professor said it was too late.
Then, on July 26, Flood sent the following e-mail from a private g-mail account, to a private account for the professor in question:
I hope you are having a great summer. I am forwarding a letter I wanted [the student] to compose to you. I am sending it from my personal e-mail to your personal e-mail to ensure there will be no public vetting of the correspondence. I want you to know that I have read the e-mail you sent on 5/18 and if that is the final decision I am in full support of that decision. If there was any work that could be done to earn a grade change I would be willing to have it done during football hours [redacted]. I believe [the student] has owned this situation and I have advised him to expect no further opportunities in this class.
We shouldn’t be surprised that a coach would try correspondence like this from a private account to avoid public disclosure at a state school. However, it goes to his state of mind of knowing that this probably wasn’t cool or appropriate.
After more e-mails, Flood also arranged an in-person meeting with the professor, one where he intentionally wore clothing without any Rutgers branding so as not to stand out and be recognized, according to the report.
The professor did ultimately let the student try to do more work to change the grade. Flood also helped with grammar and punctuation and editing that piece as well. The report goes on to say that he suggested including a reference to Tony Dorsett (so, guessing this wasn’t an organic chemistry class that the student was failing). The University did clear him on those integrity claims for assisting with the paper, finding those were benefits that were available to all students.