Saturday’s Senior Day win against Cincinnati wasn’t just the last home game of punter Austin Barnes’ East Carolina football career.
It will also turn out to be his last game, period.
The graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan was suspended from the team Monday after coach Scottie Montgomery and other school officials learned of his alcohol-related arrest in the hours following the Pirates 48-20 victory.
Because Barnes is in his final year of eligibility and ECU has only one game remaining this season, Monday’s disciplinary action effectively ends his college career.
“Representing East Carolina University is a privilege and any behavior that’s not in accordance with that is unacceptable,” Montgomery said in a statement. “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 ranks 19th nationally with an average of 44.0 yards per punt for the Pirates this season. In his absence, Montgomery said that either junior kickoff specialist Caleb Pratt or sophomore placekicker Jake Verity would handle the punting duties in Saturday’s season finale at Memphis.