A New Jersey prosecutor announced Thursday that among 10 Rutgers students arrested and charged for their roles in an alleged assault and home invasion of another student, five were current Rutgers football players.
The arrests, announced just two days before the Scarlet Knights' football opener against Norfolk State, come on the heels of an investigation into football coach Kyle Flood. Flood is accused of contacting a professor about the academic status of one of his players.
The latest incident is, sadly, not the first.
The university, which joined the Big Ten in 2012, has been the subject of an ever-lengthening list of bad and bizarre news for more than a decade, making the school an easy punch line and the athletics department appear as a rudderless ship.
In some cases, one event precipitated the next -- a coach was fired, a new one hired. In others, it was what can only be construed as independent bungling.
The best way, perhaps, to understand the depth and breadth of the problems at Rutgers, is to explain it all in linear fashion, from one bad moment on the timeline to the next:
July 2001: Two years after two players and a manager filed a lawsuit against him for civil rights violations, Kevin Bannon is fired as men's basketball coach. The players alleged that Bannon made them run wind sprints naked after losing a strip free throw contest. The lawsuit was dropped; Rutgers supported its coach until the Scarlet Knights recorded their third consecutive losing season and failed to make the Big East tournament.
February 2006: Gary Waters flies to Kent State for his own Hall of Fame induction there. A blizzard snows the basketball coach in, however, and he does not make it back to campus in time for the Scarlet Knights' game against Marquette. One month later, Waters announces he will resign at the end of the season.
April 2010: Fred Hill, who followed Waters, allegedly is involved in a shouting match with coaches from an opposing team during an on-campus baseball game (his father, Fred Hill Sr., was the Rutgers baseball coach from 1984 to 2013). Athletic director Tim Pernetti orders the younger Hill to stay away from the field. Two days later, he is spotted there again. After protracted negotiations to work out a separation agreement, he and the school part ways.
April 2013:ESPN's Outside the Lines airs video of basketball coach Mike Rice berating and pushing players during a practice. He uses foul language and gay slurs to chastise his players. Rice is immediately fired, and AD Pernetti resigns.
May 2013: New athletic director Julie Hermann comes under fire days after being hired. During her tenure as head volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee, players accused Hermann of ruling through humiliation and fear. She also was questioned at the news conference announcing her hiring at Rutgers about a lawsuit in which a former assistant coach was awarded $150,000 after alleging she was fired for becoming pregnant. She discounted a question regarding a video making such an allegation. A video from the assistant coach's wedding later surfaced.
November 2013: Freshman Jevon Tyree accuses then defensive coordinator Dave Cohen of bullying him. An independent investigator found that, although Cohen behaved inappropriately during a study hall, it did not escalate to the level of bullying. Later that year, Cohen was fired for strictly football reasons, according to coach Flood.
August 2015: NJ.com reports and the school later confirms that Rutgers is investigating Flood for impermissible contact with a university professor regarding the status of one of his players. He did not ask for a grade change but instead inquired as to what his player could do to improve his grade. NJ.com identified the player as defensive back Nadir Barnwell.
Thursday: The five players arrested on charges of assaulting a fellow student are junior defensive back Ruhann Peele, sophomore fullback Razohnn Gross, junior defensive back Delon Stephenson, sophomore defensive back Andre Boggs and Barnwell, the player at the center of the investigation of Flood. The players have been suspended indefinitely.