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Rutgers Football Names Starting QB For Opener, Coach Flood In Trouble?

When Rutgers takes the field against the Norfolk State Spartans at noon on Sept. 5, redshirt sophomore Hayden Rettig will be under center as the starting quarterback according to a press release.

“Hayden Rettig will start our Sept. 5 game against Norfolk State,” (head coach Kyle Flood said). “Five players – Leonte Carroo, Tim Gleeson, Chris Laviano, Kevin Marquez and Ruhann Peele – will be suspended for the first half of the season opener due to a curfew violation.”

Hayden Rettig (Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Hayden Rettig (Jeff Auger – Double G Media)

In addition to breaking curfew, Rettig’s main competitor Laviano tried to get in a place where he didn’t belong using a fake ID.

“I’m disappointed that five of our players broke curfew, I’m disappointed that Chris Laviano used a fake ID to try and go in an establishment he shouldn’t be in,” Flood told the media after practice Tuesday. “I’m really disappointed.

“Much like my own children, they do things that disappoint you, but you still love them. You hold them accountable, there have to be consequences, and you move forward.

It is unclear whether Rettig would have been named the starter if it wasn’t for Laviano’s suspension as the two have been a part of a heated battle since the spring. Flood extended his original 7-10 day deadline to appoint a starter as both players were neck and neck during training camp.

In two training camp intrasquad scrimmages, the Long Island, N.Y. native Laviano threw for 252 yards on 19-for-30 passing, including six touchdowns and one interception.

The Los Angeles, CA. native Rettig passed for 265 yards on 18-for-27 passing, with four touchdowns and no interceptions.


Flood could be in some hot water as a report this morning from said the fourth-year head coach “could face a suspension or firing because of impermissible contact with a university faculty member regarding the status of one of his players”.

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood (Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood (Jeff Auger – Double G Media)

Before practice, Flood acknowledged the report that an investigation was going on.

“Let me start by saying I’m disappointed at the tone of the article that (media relations official) Hasim (Phillips) showed me this morning,” Flood said. “I’ve been the head coach now this is going into my fourth season and I’ve had a lot of interaction with the teachers on our campus.

“I think that that article not only insults my integrity but it insults the integrity of our faculty. I’ve come to realize that our faculty here at Rutgers is beyond reproach and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. Our faculty are a part of our program. Just as recently as the other day, we had two faculty members at our practice.

“Any correspondence that I had with a professor in regards to a student-athlete would really be of this nature. One, to be in support of whatever decision that faculty member made. And two, to inquire as to whether or not there would be an opportunity to earn a better grade. This practice is not unusual at Rutgers. Many students all over campus receiver what are called “‘T grades” — doing work outside of when the class ends that semester to earn a better grade.”

It is cloudy whether Flood asked a professor to change a grade. And although Flood said he is unaware of any investigations, according to, “With the help of outside counsel, Rutgers is investigating the severity of the alleged violation, which, top university officials say, is focused on an email Flood allegedly sent from a personal account to a faculty member at the university’s Mason Gross School of Arts regarding the status of Barnwell, a junior cornerback who is reportedly in danger of being deemed academically ineligible.”

Rutgers spokesperson Pete McDonough said in an emailed statement:

“We can confirm that the Rutgers University Office of Ethics and Compliance initiated an investigation with the assistance of outside counsel when this matter was first brought to our attention a little more than one week ago. We will have no further comment until the investigation is concluded.”

According to an article, Sources told ESPN that Flood inquired about what Barnwell could do to improve his grade and did not ask for the grade to be changed.

“Without getting in the way of the university process, I have a lot of communication with teachers,” Flood said. “I teach classes on campus. I was a member of a (high school) faculty for four years. To me, I don’t know why you would want to have a separation of church and state. We’re all part of the same university and we all want the same things for our student-athletes.”

Nadir Barnwell (Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Nadir Barnwell (Jeff Auger – Double G Media)

Barnwell, a junior cornerback from Piscataway, has had his eligibility status for the season in jeopardy since the spring. As he and the team awaits his final grades for summer classes, he is allowed to practice and last spoke on Media Day to Double G Sports and a pack of reporters a few weeks back when asked how he got in the predicament.

“I really don’t know,” Barnwell said. “I did all my work. It’s been submitted. We’re just waiting for my grades to come back to be honest with you. … Right now I’m just focusing on myself, just getting my body right to be honest with you, taking it day-by-day just trying to win every day.”

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