ECU Punter Austin Barnes Suspended Following Arrest

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - ECU punter Austin Barnes has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities effective immediately following an alcohol-related arrest late Saturday according to an announcement from head football coach Scottie Montgomery on Monday.

The decision came shortly after Montgomery and ECU athletics officials were made aware of Barnes’ arrest by law enforcement authorities.

"Representing East Carolina University is a privilege and any behavior that's not in accordance with that is unacceptable," Montgomery said. "We have conduct standards and expectations in place for our program for a reason and it's disappointing when individuals choose not to be accountable for their teammates, especially those who are perceived to be in leadership roles."

Barnes, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan, has served as the Pirates' top punter during the 2017 season and currently ranks 19th nationally with an average of 44.0 yards per kick. Montgomery indicated either junior Caleb Pratt or sophomore Jake Verity would take over Barnes' duties.

ECU (3-8) will close out its season Saturday at Memphis (9-1).