MISSOULA, Mont. —
He told the newspaper that he disagrees with the NCAA’s definition of a “booster.” The NCAA determined that backup quarterback Gerald Kemp and cornerback Trumaine Johnson were bailed out of jail after their arrest on Oct. 23, 2011, by the mother of a teammate who paid $130 and $190. Kemp’s grandfather later reimbursed the woman.
Police officers used stun guns on the two players trying to break up a loud party.
The NCAA also found that an attorney provided each player with about $1,500 in free legal representation. The NCAA said Pflugrad learned a booster had posted bail, but did not report it to university officials. NCAA officials also found O’Day and the compliance director were aware that a booster was providing legal assistance to the players.
Johnson, who now plays for the St. Louis Rams, and Kemp pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct charges in December 2011.
“In the highest degree of technicality, I looked at that relationship, as a mother of a player whose teammate was in trouble, and when does that cross over to being a booster?” Pflugrad said. “If that’s my biggest mistake, then I’m going to move forward with it. Because there has to be some form of humanity in what we do.
“You know the first thing I did, I made sure none of our coaches had bailed out players. That was my job and I moved on from there.”
Pflugrad disagreed with his firing.
“There was an overall climate and publicity that assisted in creating a certain atmosphere in which the administration overreacted,” he said. “That resulted in the termination of the athletic director and myself as head football coach.”