March 29, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Two East Carolina football players, running backs Brandon Jackson and Giavanni Ruffin, have been disciplined following early Sunday morning arrests according to an announcement from head coach Ruffin McNeill Monday afternoon.
The decision came a day after McNeill and ECU athletics officials were made aware of charges filed against both by the Greenville Police Department.
"Because of previous team rule violations, we do not have any other option than to dismiss Brandon from the team for this incident," McNeill said. "Giavanni has been suspended indefinitely and we have established some policy and procedure expectations for him as a condition for returning to our program and representing East Carolina University."
Jackson, whose charges include underage consumption of alcohol, intoxication and simple affray, finished his sophomore season as the Pirates' second-leading rusher with 316 yards and three touchdowns on 84 carries in nine contests and three starts. He contributed a season-high 88 yards on 20 attempts vs. UCF Sept. 26 in his fourth game after transferring into the ECU program from Kentucky a year earlier.
"When you make mistakes in life, you have to understand there are consequences," McNeill added. "It hurts to see young people lose an opportunity like that, but it's very important to have conduct standards in place we expect to be followed on a consistent basis. We have a commitment to the University, our program and our families to represent ourselves in a professional manner at all times. My hope is that if they learn from this incident, it will serve a good purpose."
Ruffin, a rising senior who was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer, stood third among the unit's rushers with 308 yards and five touchdowns on 84 carries in 13 games last fall. The junior college transfer enjoyed his top performance of the 2009 campaign with an 87-yard, 14-attempt effort at Memphis Oct. 27. He played a key role in the Pirates' post-season schedule, scoring twice and adding 55 ground yards against Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game before tallying 44 yards against Arkansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.