Friends, family, and students were shocked and appalled after learning of the arrests of five Rutgers football players. The players are part of a larger group of suspects that authorities have charged with a string of assault and home-invasion type robberies.
The slew of arrests began last month. Tejay Johnson, 23, was charged on August 5 with armed robbery, criminal restraint, and weapons offenses after an investigation into an April 26 incident, court records show. It was not the first time the defensive back was in legal trouble. He was accused of allegedly beating and robbing a man in Egg Harbor Township. That charge was later dropped.
Bail for the Rutgers players was set as high as $625,000. Rutgers football players Ruhann Peele, Nadir Barnwell, and Andre Boggs posted bail Thursday night and were released from Middlesex County Adult Correction Center. Peele and Barnwell, whose bail was $25,000 each, are two of four players charged with aggravated assault, riot, and conspiracy to commit a riot.
According to a statement by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation into the Rutgers case began April 26 when New Brunswick police were called to a home invasion on Prosper Street. Police said three masked men forced their way into a home and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana from five students at gunpoint.
Things just keep getting worse for Rutgers. Football coach Kyle Flood remains part of an NCAA investigation after allegations that he improperly contacted a faculty member about a player’s academic status. That could put the Rutgers football program in deeper waters.
This current incident is just one in a long list of problems that has plagued Rutgers. Over the past years, the university has endured hardships involving its sports programs that have devastated and rocked Rutgers. In 2013, freshman football player Jevon Tyree accused former 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.
The season has barely begun for Rutgers. The football team will be without key players as they hit the field. With players being arrested and the coach under investigation for possible NCAA violations, the future doesn’t look bright for Rutgers.
Rutgers’ football program is definitely reeling. They need to find answers in a hurry and find out how long those answers have been available.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images]