First, let me start by stating that I am a huge Kyle Flood fan and dismissing him as the head football coach was the worst thing Rutgers could have done. I don't think he did a bad job after replacing used car salesman Greg Schiano as head coach and did a great job in bringing back a lot of the New Jersey high school football coaches to Rutgers that ran away because of their disdain for Schiano.
Plain and simple, the New Jersey football coaching community had a ton of respect for Flood and was more than willing to help Flood rebuild the Rutgers program. They were definitely more willing to help Flood than they were to aid Schiano, who had lost the trust and respect of a lot of the local coaches.
Flood had a respectable 27-24 record in his four years as head coach, considering that two of those years, the Scarlet Knights were thrown under the bus of the Big 10 _ and still somehow made it to a bowl game.
But the media in general was out to get Flood. Sure enough, NJ.com and Advance Media got news of Flood sending emails and contacting a professor asking for help on the grade of a Scarlet Knight player's grade on a term paper.
That was apparently a no-no in the eyes of the Rutgers hierarchy, citing rules and policy that the school has about employees being contacted by others involving grades.
However, you can't tell me that in the history of college sports, that there hasn't been another coach who has contacted a teacher to see if something could be done to a grade. It's safe to assume that Pop Warner and Walter Camp probably tried to persuade English professors during their heydays. It's more than likely Woody Hayes and Bear Bryant talked to math teachers. It's laughable that Flood received a three-game suspension because of it.
But there were all the other things that took place in Piscataway that Flood took the fall for. When standout Leonte Carroo got involved with a domestic squabble with his ex-girlfriend after hours, people blamed Flood. When five players tried to enter a New Brunswick nightclub with fake ID, people blamed Flood. And horrifically, when a group of players were arrested and charged with robbing and tying up victims with duct tape and rope, people blamed Flood.
So basically, there was too much other stuff going on for Flood to keep his job. Plus, the school was canning the woeful Julie Herrmann as well as athletic director. Herrmann might have been the worst hire since Sebastian Cabot was replaced as the butler on Family Affair or since Ray Handley replaced Bill Parcells as coach of the Giants. Herrmann was a complete mess from the minute she arrived in Piscataway. When talk arose last week of her pending departure, one had to figure that Flood wasn't far behind.
Saturday, the Rutgers program went on the cheap by hiring Chris Ash, an assistant coach from Ohio State. Getting someone with Jersey ties and head coaching experience like Al Golden would have made too much sense, so getting another assistant coach is a typical Rutgers move. Bringing in Pat Hobbs from Seton Hall as the athletic director is a move of desperation, not improvement.
As it appears right now, Rutgers is headed down the slippery slope of doom in the Big 10. The school is simply not going to be competitive in any Big 10 sport anytime soon.
I personally would not have gotten rid of Flood. I think they would have at least been competitive with Flood at the helm for the years to come. I can't see that starting from scratch all over again. It seems like it's time for doom and gloom on the banks of the old Raritan, back to the days of the early 80s under Frank Burns, when people were happy if the Scarlet Knights scored a touchdown against Penn State.
Now? Who knows?