ECU Athletic Director Pays University $25,000

By: Stephanie Shoop
By: Stephanie Shoop

East Carolina University says Athletic Director Terry Holland has repaid the $25,000 given to his relative after an internal audit said the payments were an inappropriate use of university funds.

ECU hasn't identified the relative, but Holland's brother Gregg told the News & Observer of Raleigh he received the money.

Fifty-one-year-old Gregg Holland, a business student at ECU, received salary from the athletic department as well as payments for tuition, room and board.

Terry Holland says in a letter that the payments caused embarrassment for the university and its supporters. ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard says Holland has responded completely to his questions.

Here is the news release from ECU:

NEWS RELEASE
East Carolina University News Services
For immediate release
Date: Dec. 05, 2007
______________________
Holland reimburses ECU for aid

GREENVILLE(12/05/2007) East Carolina University Athletics Director Terry Holland, in response to a recent audit report concerning the employment of his relative, today gave a $25,000 check to the university.

In an accompanying letter to Chancellor Steve Ballard, Holland wrote, "There is no doubt that this incident has created a great deal of embarrassment for ECU and for many good individuals who care about the university and who also care about me."

Holland's statement continued: "It is not my desire to defend my decision but I do believe our Pirate faithful has always depended on me to be open and frank with them in good times and bad times, even though there are many who disagree with me on specific issues. It has been extremely frustrating to be in a position that does not allow that open dialogue. Immediately after meeting with the auditors in September, in addition to ending the employment agreement, I made a commitment to increase my Circle of Excellence gift from $50,000 to $75,000 to insure that the athletic department was not disadvantaged in any way by the agreement that had just been terminated. I am enclosing a check for $25,000 to ECU, instead of the Circle of Excellence, to fulfill that commitment."

Holland, who had arranged for tuition assistance and employment for a relative through the Athletics Department, repaid the full amount of both the financial assistance and wages to the university.

The non-athlete student, who began receiving the financial assistance from the Athletics Department in the fall semester of 2006, and who worked part-time for the department, had been awarded a total of $16,639.19 for tuition, fees, books, room and board. Holland canceled the award effective Sept. 30.

Ballard said, "Coach Holland has responded completely and appropriately to all of my requests related to this issue of employment. Coach Holland has been forthright and has over-complied with suggestions to rectify the perception created by his decision. From the beginning, he has encouraged us to provide more information to the media and the public than we can legally provide. Further, he has my complete confidence as among the very best athletic directors in the nation. East Carolina is fortunate to have him."

Bob Greczyn, chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, said he is pleased the matter has been resolved.

"The ECU Board takes this issue seriously. By taking responsibility for this situation and returning the funds, Terry Holland has completely addressed the situation to our satisfaction," he said.

"The chancellor indicates that the auditor's recommendations will be developed into policy, consistent with national best practices, to ensure that future hiring and financial aid practices will be clear," the board chairman said.

Greczyn added, "Terry has my unequivocal support, and the full support of the trustees, as athletics director of East Carolina University."

Ballard added, "I can assure everyone that the auditor's recommendations are under development and will be consistent with national best practices.

This matter has been reviewed by the ECU Board of Trustees, and I consider it to be concluded. Let's all work toward the great opportunities in front of East Carolina University," he said.

END OF RELEASE


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  • by John Location: Richmond Va on Dec 13, 2007 at 07:05 PM
    Pirate Nation. That is a joke. I am a graduate of ECU and was once a long time resident of Greenville and a Pirate faithfull.However after moving away I now realize what a joke ECU atheletics has become. The only thing positive to happen to that program in years is Terry Holland.You must understand that you are a member of a conference that is not even recognized by the BCS. Your program will never have a chance other than being a second rate football team. You will never have the chance at recruiting the players that it requires to win. The only thing you have to look forward to is a occassional victory over BCS conference teams. I find that tragic. Mediocrity...That is ECU Atheletics. I know that Terry Hollands intentions for that program are pure and from a winning approach which is foreign to the Pirate Nation...Good Luck.
  • by DThom Location: G-Land on Dec 7, 2007 at 06:36 PM
    AAAAARRRRGGGGG-- Terry must walk the plank Matie!!!
  • by Scott Location: Greenville on Dec 7, 2007 at 05:31 AM
    I agree with most of these comments. If I did something similar at my job I would be fired on the spot. Why is the school sticking up for him? He is not that great. And he should be held accountable for his actions. Like someone else said he ONLY paid the money back cuz he got caught. Very untrustworthy.
  • by Brad Location: Winterville on Dec 7, 2007 at 04:22 AM
    Unfortunately people its not about morals and doing the right thing anymore. Its all about the $$$$, and that's the direction our falling country is headed.
  • by Tim Location: Kinston on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:36 PM
    I think we are jumping to conclusions here. ECU got egg on the face for not being upfront from the begining. I think we should take a wait and see approach. Holland has made a lot of fires true, but it seems ECU athletics is in a much better state than it was. 16 thousand and he paid it back plus 9... Did he really do anything that bad here?
  • by Danny Location: Washington on Dec 6, 2007 at 03:31 PM
    LOSER, LOSER, LOSER...thats what ECU will be if they let Terry Holland stay. I can't believe Steve Ballard would even think twice about keeping hime there. They sure won't get anymore support from me as long as Terry Holland is there.
  • by Ken Location: Greenville on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:28 AM
    If he stays, call Donnie Thompson and give him his job back!!
  • by WILLIE Location: LA GRANGE on Dec 6, 2007 at 08:56 AM
    IF HOLLAND STAYS THERE, I WILL N E V E R ATTEND ANOTHER ECU GAME. HE SHOULD BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST POSSIBLE. THATS PROBABLY WHY HE FIRED COACHES SO HE COULD KEEP THE FUNDS WITHIN HIS FAMILY. ANOTHER BLACK EYE FOR ECU. IF HE STAYS, THEN THE CHANCELLOR SHOULD BE FIRED.
  • by David Location: Cary on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:51 AM
    I can't understand why he still has his job. His wrongdoing was much more than any of the coaches he let go. I will not pull for any ECU sports as long as he is athletic director. It's not right for him to just be able to pay it back and act as if nothing wrong was done.
  • by Editor's Note Location: Washington on Dec 6, 2007 at 06:42 AM
    Some of you have questioned why your comments on this case have not been posted. We encourage commenting on our stories to give you a chance to express your opinion. We read all the comments we receive and post the vast majority of them. However, we will often refrain from posting comments that include incorrect or unsubstantiated facts. In the Holland case, the audit states the aid package was an inappropriate use of money. The audit did not cite any university policy broken or criminal violations made. We will not post comments specifically based on those items.
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