ECU punter suspended following alcohol-related arrest

Austin Barnes (ECU Athletics photo)

GREENVILLE, Pitt County - East Carolina University punter Austin Barnes has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested following an alcohol-related arrest late Saturday.

Pirates head football coach Scottie Montgomery made the announcement Monday. Barnes is suspended effectively immediately.

"Representing East Carolina University is a privilege and any behavior that's not in accordance with that is unacceptable," Montgomery said in a press release. "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 season. He ranked 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).

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