J.H. Rose Football Coach Suspension Upheld

The suspension of a high school football coach will stand, that after an appeal hearing this morning in Pitt County.

Todd Lipe had appealed his suspension as head football coach at J.H. Rose High School. A closed door hearing was held this morning before a committee made up of three school board members.

Just after noon the committee announced it had upheld the superintendent's decision to suspend Lipe.

The committee's decision was unanimous.

Lipe is still a teacher at Rose. His attorney says even with today's decision, they have other options in their efforts to have Lipe reinstated as football coach.

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The head football coach of a big local high school could find out today if he'll get his job back. Todd Lipe was suspended as coach of the J.H. Rose football team during the investigation of a D.H. Conley football player's ineligibility.

Maleek Gorham, who used to play for Rose but transferred to Conley, was suspended after state officials ruled he did not live where his family claimed he did. In the investigation, Lipe was suspended indefinitely. Lipe will appeal his suspension to the Pitt County Schools human resources committee today.

We will let you know what happens.

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The athletic director for Pitt County Schools and the football coach at J.H. Rose High School were suspended today.

WITN News has confirmed that Rose High School football coach Todd Lipe has been suspended with pay. We have also learned that Ron Butler, the athletic director for the school system, was also suspended with pay.

School system spokeswoman Heather Mayo says they cannot go into specifics about why the two were suspended. The Pitt County School Board met in closed session Tuesday night.

Sources tell WITN News that the action against Butler and Lipe surround the ongoing controversy over the player suspension of D.H. Conley running back Maleek Gorham.

Gorham transferred from Rose prior to this season and has been suspended for 365 days by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. They say there was overwhelming evidence that Gorham did not live in the Conley school district.

Mayo says Lipe is suspended from his teaching position and a substitute will be brought in to take over his classes at Rose. Rose's football season ended this past weekend.

Mayo says there is a personnel investigation underway and Lipe's suspension is indefinite while the investigation is underway.

Lipe has been head coach at Rose since 2008, but an employee since 2002. He was most recently teaching social studies.

Butler, the district athletic director, has held that position since 2009, but has been an employee with Pitt County Schools since 1997.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.