ECU Baseball Coach Billy Godwin Suspended

East Carolina University Director of Athletics Terry Holland announced Tuesday that Pirate head baseball coach Billy Godwin will serve a two-week suspension without pay as a department-imposed corrective action for a self-reported National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violation that involved impermissible housing benefits for volunteer coaches.

Godwin's suspension will prohibit the seventh-year skipper from performing any coaching, recruiting or administrative duties from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14. He will also be issued a formal letter of reprimand from Holland for his involvement in the infraction.

"The extra benefits violations have created a serious situation for our athletic department, but it should be acknowledged that the extra benefits began before Coach Godwin arrived at East Carolina University,” Holland said. "Coach Godwin has been highly cooperative and actively involved in uncovering the history of the extra benefits as well as supportive of all the corrective actions and penalties."

After a five-month investigation, ECU Office of Athletics Compliance officials discovered that beginning in the fall 2004, one year before Godwin's appointment as head baseball coach, and ending in 2011, four volunteer coaches received impermissible housing benefits.

The NCAA's interpretation of a volunteer coach for sports other than football and basketball is defined as "a coach who does not receive compensation or remuneration from the institution's athletic department or any organization funded in whole or part by the athletics department or that is involved primarily in the promotion of the institution's athletic program (e.g. booster club, athletics foundation association)."

As an additional term of the corrective measure, the volunteer coach position at East Carolina has been suspended for one calendar year, retroactive to Oct. 17, 2011.

Repayments of the improper housing benefits by three coaches during Godwin's tenure have already been submitted, received and verified, while the baseball program and ECU Educational Foundation (Pirate Club) staff have completed ancillary NCAA rules education training. Revisions to donor gift-in-kind and contributed services approval forms, and the procedural documentation of rental agreements by future volunteer coaches have also been implemented.

"It's my responsibility to be in a lead role to promote compliance for our staff and players, and on top of that list is a thorough understanding of all NCAA rules," Godwin said. "This wasn't something that was conceived under the cover of darkness or done covertly. I was aware of the situation and assumed it was a permissible way to perhaps mitigate the financial burden our volunteer coach has without a salary or stipend. A lack of understanding of the rules is not, nor ever will be, an excuse."

East Carolina submitted its report to the NCAA on Dec. 12, 2011, and will now await the association's official ruling, which is expected in the near future.

Impermissible benefits, gifts and services to other ECU sports, coaches and student-athletes were not found during the process of the self-investigation.

"The NCAA and the university have worked hand-in-glove throughout the complete process and the ECU Office of Athletics Compliance under Jamie Johnson has worked tirelessly and effectively to resolve all issues on a timely and appropriate basis," Holland added.

Godwin, who owns a 217-138 record as the Pirates' head coach, has led East Carolina to NCAA Regional appearances in four of six seasons. ECU, which will begin its in-season practice schedule Jan. 27 and open the 2012 campaign Feb. 17, turned in a 41-21 mark and advanced to the Charlottesville Regional a year ago.

In his absence, Godwin said, assistant coach Nick Schnabel will fill his role on a daily basis.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Greenville on Jan 25, 2012 at 07:14 AM
    You all are ridiculous if you think he did not understand the NCAA rules. That's what I'd say if I knew I was going to be in some deep water to save myself as well. Turning himself in was merely a way to be the "good guy" when he knew he was going down. If you know they're looking into your situation and what you're doing is completely illegal by their rules, of course you would self report it. Self reporting obviously condones less of a punishment than the NCAA finding it out on their own.
  • by Pir8 on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:58 AM
    Tough being a Pirate at times, which means we should walk the line even closer than our in state counterparts. Even though this mistake happend before Billy was here I still hold the entire Athletic Department accountable. We should strive for excellence no excusses and I expect nothing less than that. Just becasue this violation isn't even in the same realm of reality of the UNC fiasco it doesn't mean its any less of an issue. I appreciate the honesty and investigation into the matter but lets make sure of the rules before a decision is made, thank you sincerely die hard Pirate 05'
  • by wenc on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:57 AM
    From a TarHeel fan the NCAA is getting to political! I agree with Dick's post.
  • by Pirate Mom Location: Greenville on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:55 AM
    Coach Godwin is a true example to these players and I applaud him for stepping up---but come one---it hapened BEFORE he was here...why would he be the one punished. Surely there is an administrator that this punishment should fall to! Coach Godwin doesn't deserve this but you would never hear him say anything against anyone about it! Coach you are a hero!
  • by Allen Location: Winterville on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:10 PM
    Coach Godwin is a class act and my gosh you have be a nuclear engineer with a minor in pig latin to understand all the NCAA rules and bylaws...Bottom line he was trying to help a volunteer assistant who needed help and in doing this it was a violation.He'll serve his suspension..Nick will do a great job and come Feb 17th the road to Omaha begins.ECU is lucky to have a class act like Billy Godwin leading the baseball program...
    • reply
      by Sam on Jan 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM in reply to Allen
      Or a lawyer!
  • by G Location: Greenville on Jan 24, 2012 at 08:30 PM
    WTH! Was Holland here and in charge when it occurred? Godwin wasn't even here then. Why doesn't Holland take a 2 week suspension without pay?
  • by john Location: farmville on Jan 24, 2012 at 06:09 PM
    the 14.9 million cut is gonna be interesting to watch it unfold. the reins will tighten each month. as i said earlier witn will break the case for us..
  • by ecu baseball fan Location: eastern nc on Jan 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
    Enjoy your vacation, see you at the games and camps. Thanks
  • by Two weeks? on Jan 24, 2012 at 03:36 PM
    Two weeks? He's only suspended for two weeks?! Why is this news?
    • reply
      by Spring Training on Jan 24, 2012 at 11:06 PM in reply to Two weeks?
      Those 2 weeks just happen to be 2 vital weeks. Godwin will only have 2 days before the season opener to see his own team trying to work together. That's crunch time. The assistant coaches will run the camp, but it's important for Godwin to be there as well. Now he won't. Those 2 weeks are more important that missing 2 in-season, so the suspension could be problematic for the team.
  • by Love It on Jan 24, 2012 at 03:34 PM
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