Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ECU assistant admits violations, steps down

East Carolina assistant football coach Mark Nelson has stepped down after admitting breaking NCAA rules by evaluating players during off-season workouts that were supposed to be voluntary, school athletic director Terry Holland announced.

Nelson was hired in February to serve on first-year coach Ruffin McNeill's staff as defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator. In a statement, Holland said East Carolina's office of NCAA compliance has been investigating possible violations of an NCAA rule that prevents coaches from evaluating players during the offseason.

"When a coach observes these normal activities, the NCAA considers the activities to be non-sanctioned out-of-season practice," Holland said in the statement.

Holland said McNeill called in Nelson to discuss the possible violations. According to Holland, Nelson admitted violations that are likely to be ruled "secondary" rather than "major" after the school's formal report is filed with the NCAA.

"Coach Nelson and coach McNeill agreed that these violations would be a distraction to the team at this critical time of the year and coach Nelson offered to step down from his position," Holland said. "His offer to step down was accepted by coach McNeill pending negotiation of a severance agreement with the athletic administration and the university."

Holland said the East Carolina compliance office will file a formal report and cooperate fully with the NCAA.

Nelson served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League last season. He had 23 years of combined professional and college experience, and had coached in the SEC, Big 12, Big East and Conference USA.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, even ECU can make UNC look classless. Way to handle the thing quietly and maturely.

Anonymous said...

At least one college in North Carolina has a coaching staff with integrity. Are you watching John "Black Santa" Blake???????

Anonymous said...

E-C original.
At least they have a coach who handles this situation like a man instead of acting like his team is better overall for breaking rules, Or coaching morons who say things like "well if they are investigating great teams like Florida and USC, we must be doin something right".?!?!?.....pure genius