ECU’s steed declared ineligible

Published 4:51 pm Monday, January 16, 2012

GREENVILLE — East Carolina forward Austin Steed has been declared ineligible for the remainder of the season announced head coach Jeff Lebo Saturday.
Steed, who has played in all 15 games this season, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in three and one-half years before he joined the Pirate program as a graduate student in the spring of 2011 with one year of eligibility remaining.
“I’m very proud of my academic accomplishments at the University of South Carolina and was working diligently toward similar achievements at East Carolina University with a 2.85 GPA and 21 hours of completed coursework,” Steed said. “I’m disappointed that I will no longer have the opportunity to be a part of the basketball program and equally disappointed that I fell short of the goal of completing my graduate degree.
“It is extremely important to to my family and I to let others know that my dismissal wasn’t related to to any violations of the athletic department policy or any academic integrity issue. I would like to wish my teammates, coaches and the Pirate Nation the best in the future.” ,p> Steed averaged over four points and four rebounds per game this season, playing nearly 14 minutes per contest. He was one of the first players off the bench and averaged the most minutes of any player without a start. Steed posted a double-double in his ECU debut against Milligan before scoring a career-best 12 points at Campbell and grabbing 11 rebounds at Old Dominion.
“This is one of the saddest days of my coaching career,” said Lebo. “It is extremely disappointing that Austin Steed will not be able to complete his final semester of eligibility and earn a graduate degree, while wearing a Pirate basketball uniform. Austin represents all the positive qualities of a student-athlete you strive to recruit as a coach.
“As a team captain, Austin has represented our program in a first-class manner and has been a role model for our younger players. His contributions to our team and program will be profoundly missed.”