The Rutgers University football team is back in the middle of controversy. Head coach Chris Ash spoke during the Big Ten media day about an alleged credit card scandal that took place during the spring semester of this past school year.
As many as eight players (whose names have not been released) could face suspension or even dismissal from the team if charges are filed. Ash didn’t comment much other than the fact that discipline has already been handed out and that he’s still waiting on the conclusion of the probe by University Police.
This comes just about two weeks after the dismissal of sophomore linebacker Brendan Devera and junior defensive back K.J. Gray, who were released earlier this month due to a “violation of team rules.”
Devera, who played in 11 games as a true freshman last season, was set to back up standout linebackers Deonte Roberts and Trevor Morris. He received an ample amount of playing time behind Roberts and Morris last season and even more on special teams.
Rutgers also lost the commitment of Devera’s younger brother, three-star tight end Tyler Devera, who announced his decommitment via Twitter.
Gray, a Jersey City native, played in ten games with four starts last season and notched a secondary leading 58 tackles.
Gray was looking at a potential starting role at safety next to Saquan Hampton before being dismissed from the team. What was originally a big blow was softened when Kiy Hester announced his intentions to return to the program a few days ago.
Hester was set to play his post-graduate year at Florida International University before flipping back over to the Scarlet Knights.
The release of Devera and Gray now pushes the total number of players dismissed under Ash to five. With the Kyle Flood era of scandals not too far in the rearview mirror, it’d be best if Ash can keep the noise surrounding his team to a minimum.
If charges are filed in relation to the credit card probe, the Scarlet Knights will be in a tough position if they have to dismiss any more players. For a rebuilding program, any more losses could disrupt the upswing that Rutgers has been looking at these past couple of seasons.
Let’s hope they can keep it together.