Several Rutgers football players are under investigation for fraudulent use of credit cards, according to a report from NJ Advance Media.
The probe is being conducted by the Rutgers University Police Department and could involve as many as eight players, according to the report. The names reportedly are being withheld because no one has been charged.
The Rutgers University Police Department would not confirm the probe when contacted by USA TODAY Network New Jersey, referring the matter to Rutgers media relations. A message left with that department was not immediately returned on Thursday evening.
The potential credit fraud news comes a day after defensive back K.J. Gray and linebacker Brendan DeVera were reportedly dismissed for an unspecified violation of team rules. Both were expected to see key roles this fall, Gray having played 20 games across his first two seasons and DeVera having played 11 games as a true freshman in 2017.
On Wednesday, both players acknowledged on Twitter they had been released from their scholarships and were free to transfer.
Criminal charges and/or suspensions could be a blow to Rutgers on the field, but they would also deal the program a black eye in terms of perception. Third-year head coach Chris Ash has worked to clean up the program’s image after the final season under Kyle Flood in 2015 was marred by multiple arrests, suspensions and a grade-fixing scandal, all of which ultimately led to Flood’s firing.
Gray and DeVera are the fourth and fifth players to be dismissed by Ash for a “violation of team rules” in the last 15 months. The highest-profile of those five dismissals was quarterback Tylin Oden, a 2016 recruit who was billed as the potential starter under then-offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer.
Rutgers opens Ash’s third training camp on Aug. 2, with the season-opener set for Sept. 1 against Texas State at High Point Solutions Stadium.